The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has published ‘Psychosocial interventions for supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy’.
Tobacco smoking remains one of the few preventable factors associated with complications in pregnancy, and has serious long-term implications for women and babies. Smoking in pregnancy is decreasing in high-income countries, but is strongly associated with poverty and is increasing in low- to middle-income countries.
Counselling, feedback and financial incentives appear to reduce the number of women smoking in late pregnancy, however the interventions and the context of the interventions need to be carefully considered. The effect of health education and social support is less clear. Most of the studies were carried out in high-income countries making it difficult to assess if the findings are applicable to other contexts. The intensity of support women received in both the intervention and comparison groups has increased over time. Many of the studies did not provide information on the number of individual women who were eligible for inclusion or were approached to take part in studies, which would have provided useful information about the general acceptability of the interventions and selection bias in the studies. The timing of the final assessment of smoking status during pregnancy also varied considerably among the studies.
The authors concluded that psychosocial interventions to support women to stop smoking in pregnancy can increase the proportion of women who stop smoking in late pregnancy and the proportion of infants born low birthweight. Counselling, feedback and incentives appear to be effective, however the characteristics and context of the interventions should be carefully considered. The effect of health education and social support is less clear.
Read more here