Improved physician-patient communication could influence pregnant women to quit smoking

January 17, 2013, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

(Medical Xpress)—Many obstetric care providers could benefit from additional communication training to effectively address smoking cessation with their pregnant patients, according to new research published by Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine investigators.

The study, published this week in the , reviewed audio-recorded discussions between obstetric care providers and their pregnant to assess whether or not providers adhered to the "Five A's" for communication. Previous studies have shown that patients are more likely to quit smoking when care providers ask whether the patient smokes, advise cessation, assess the patient's willingness and challenges to explore cessation, assist the patient with strategies and resources for cessation, and arrange follow-up to specifically address patients' progress and efforts to quit.

"Very few of the providers we observed performed the recommended Five A's related to successful patient smoking cessation," said Judy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., a physician-researcher with MWRI and lead investigator of the study. "Instead, providers seemed more likely to give patients some general information on smoking and smoking cessation, but very rarely did they assess patients' motivations and barriers to quitting, provide assistance with specific strategies or resources for smoking cessation, or arrange specific follow-up to monitor cessation efforts and progress."

Dr. Chang and her colleagues recruited 301 who agreed to have their first obstetric visit audio-recorded. A total of 139 reported being current smokers. While care providers regularly asked about smoking (98 percent of visits), only a third of the visits contained either advice to quit or assistance with cessation approaches or resources. In only 22 percent of the visits did providers assess motivations or barriers to quit and in none of the visits did the providers arrange specific follow up regarding the cessation progress. None of the care providers adhered to all of the Five A's and the average amount of time spent talking about smoking cessation was 47 seconds.

"Currently, giving information about smoking seems to be the main component of cessation counseling. However, prior research shows that knowledge alone is not enough to motivate behavior change," said Dr. Chang. "Since active help with resources and strategies to quit are a key component to successful cessation, we need to bridge the gap in provider-patient communication so that obstetricians, nurse practitioners and other providers who interact with patients can more effectively address cessation with their pregnant ."

Explore further: Doctors need training to help smokers quit

Related Stories

Doctors need training to help smokers quit

May 18, 2012
Health care professionals do a better job helping people quit smoking when they are trained in smoking cessation techniques, a new Cochrane Library review finds.

Smokers with comorbid conditions need help from their doctor to quit

August 23, 2011
Smokers who also have alcohol, drug and mental disorders would benefit greatly from smoking cession counseling from their primary care physicians and would be five times more successful at kicking the habit, a study by researchers ...

Review confirms value of combined approach to quitting smoking

October 17, 2012
Smokers who try to quit would be more successful if they combined medication or nicotine-replacement therapy with behavioral counseling, finds a new review in The Cochrane Library. Few lifestyle changes deliver as many positive ...

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.