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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Jun;61(3):467-72. Epub 2005 Aug 10.

Perceived barriers to and benefits of attending a stop smoking course during pregnancy.

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Department of Community Health Sciences (Psychology), St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 ORE, UK.



During pregnancy, the uptake of smoking cessation courses is very low. We assessed perceived barriers to and benefits of attending a cessation course during pregnancy.


A decisional-balance questionnaire was devised, including 10 statements reflecting benefits of attending a cessation course and 10 statements of barriers to attendance. The questionnaire was delivered via the Internet and targeted pregnant smokers/recent ex-smokers. Participants completed the questionnaire on a single occasion, indicating their agreement with each statement.


Among 443 respondents, the most frequently endorsed barriers were 'Being afraid of disappointing myself if I failed' (54%) and not tending to seek help for this sort of thing (41%). The most frequently endorsed benefits were advice about cigarette cravings (74%) and praise and encouragement with quitting (71%). A greater interest in receiving help with quitting from a counselor was significantly associated with: being older, lower income, husband/partner advising cessation and less confidence in quitting.


Pregnant smokers perceive many benefits of smoking cessation courses. However, these women also perceive many barriers to attendance and studies are needed to evaluate interventions for overcoming such barriers.


Smoking cessation services need to address the perceived barriers to attending stop smoking courses during pregnancy, to publicise the benefits of these courses and to target women who feel that they cannot quit without this type of support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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