Smoking cessation in pregnant women using financial incentives: a feasibility study

TA Kroder, Lilian L. Peters, AL Roggeveld, M Holtrop, L Harshagen, Lotte Klein, Jan Jaap H. M. Erwich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background
The high prevalence of smoking pregnant women in Dutch areas with lower socioeconomic status and the consecutively harmful exposure to tobacco to both mother and child, depicted a high need for a novel intervention. According to other studies, the utilisation of financial incentives appeared to be a promising method for smoking cessation in pregnant women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of implementing contingent financial incentives as smoking cessation support for pregnant women in the Netherlands.

Methods
Feasibility study consisting of four developmental phases: (1) acceptability of Dutch population regarding financial-incentive-intervention by conducting an online questionnaire, (2) composing a pilot study utilising the financial-incentive-intervention in clinical practice, (3) execution of the composed pilot study and (4) evaluation of the executed pilot study utilising a mixed-methods approach.

A financial-incentive-intervention, given in a contingent financial scheme (during five consequential appointments, respectively €25/€50/€100/€150/€250), if smoking abstinence was proven by the amount of cotinine in the urine of the pregnant women measured utilising a urine dipstick test.

The public acceptability for the financial-incentive-intervention was assessed using 5-Likert scales. The number of pregnant women able to abstain from smoking during the pilot study and utilising the financial-incentive-intervention in clinical practice were used to assess the prosperity and practicality of the pilot study respectively. The pilot study was evaluated using a mixed-methods approach.

Results
In total, 55.1% of the Dutch population sample (n = 328) found a financial incentive inappropriate for smoking cessation in pregnant women, while the healthcare professionals and pilot study participants thought the financial-incentive-intervention to be a helpful approach. Eleven vouchers were given during the pilot study, and one woman completed all test points and tested negative for cotinine at the end of the pilot study.

Conclusion
Although the financial-incentive-intervention appeared to be a promising approach for smoking cessation in pregnant women, the acceptability of the Dutch population and the number of pregnant women able to abstain smoking during this pilot study was low. Despite the limited study population, this study proved the concept of this financial-incentive-intervention to be feasible for implementation in the Netherlands.

Trial registration
Not applicable since this is a feasibility study prior to a trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number963
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24-Dec-2022

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