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J Community Health. 2013 Apr;38(2):215-20. doi: 10.1007/s10900-012-9602-8.

Reaching families at their homes for an intervention to reduce tobacco smoke exposure among infants.

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Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Walther-Rathenau-Str. 48, 17475, Greifswald, Germany.


The methods of reaching families for a home intervention trial (HIT) were analyzed in this study. The study aimed to reduce environmental tobacco smoke exposure among infants in one region of Germany. The systematic screening data of smoking among families in their homes were compared with reference data of a representative household sample of the state in which the study was conducted. The characteristics of participating and non-participating families were analyzed. All households (N = 3,570) containing at least one infant age 3 years or younger were selected using the residents` registration files and invited to participate in a screening assessment. Among these families, 3,293 (92.2 %) were contacted and from that group, 2,641 families participated in the screening. Compared with the reference sample, the screened sample included a higher proportion of families with employment and with more than 10 years of education. Participation in the HIT was recommended if at least one parent reported smoking one or more cigarettes per day during the previous 4 weeks. Among the 1,282 families that met the inclusion criteria, 71.5 % took part in the screening. Participating families, compared with non-participating families, were older, included more families with two parents living in the household, and had higher rates of employment. The effect size of the final regression model was small (Cohen's f (2) = 0.01). In conclusion, proactive approaches that are delivered at home may yield a high reach of the target population and particularly of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

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