IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1814: Knowledge and Education as Barriers and Facilitators to Nicotine Replacement Therapy Use for Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study with Health Care Professionals (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Smoking during pregnancy is a leading cause of negative pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. While UK guidelines recommend nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation during pregnancy, adherence to NRT is generally low and may partially explain why NRT appears less effective in pregnancy compared to non-pregnant smokers. This study aimed to identify and describe factors associated with NRT adherence from a health professional’s perspective. Two focus groups and one expert group were conducted with 26 professionals involved in antenatal stop smoking services and the data were analysed thematically using a template methodology. From our analyses, we extracted two main themes: (i) ‘Barriers to NRT use in pregnancy’ explores the issues of how misinformation and unrealistic expectations could discourage NRT use, while (ii) ‘Facilitators to NRT use in pregnancy’ describes the different information, and modes of delivery, that stop smoking professionals believe will encourage correct and sustained NRT use. Understanding the barriers and facilitators to improve NRT adherence may aid the development of educational interventions to encourage NRT use and improve outcomes for pregnant women wanting to stop smoking.