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Health Educ Res. 1998 Sep;13(3):419-38.

A meta-evaluation of smoking cessation intervention research among pregnant women: improving the science and art.

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Department of OB/GYN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Smoke-Free Families National Program Office, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35233-7333, USA.


In 1986 Windsor and Orleans described guidelines and standards to evaluate the quality of smoking cessation intervention research among pregnant women. This paper presents a meta-evaluation (ME) of the evaluation research in this area from 1986 to 1998. ME is defined as a systematic review of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation research using a standardized set of methodological criteria to rate the internal validity--efficacy or effectiveness--of intervention results. Five criteria were used to rate 23 smoking cessation intervention studies among pregnant smokers in prenatal care: (1) evaluation research design, (2) sample representativeness, sample size and power estimation, (3) population characteristics, (4) measurement quality, and (5) replicability of interventions. Eleven studies had sufficient methodological quality to produce results of high internal validity. Poor measurement of smoking status, patient selection biases and incorrect calculation of quit rates were the major methodological weakness. Recommendations for future evaluation research are made.

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