Quarterly scientific journal

Maternal smoking during pregnancy and health promotion approaches

Anastasios Tzenalis , Chrysanthi Sotiriadou

Abstract

Nowadays smoking is an important cause of ill health and mortality and imposes significant causes in the society, for example in terms of health care cost and human suffering. Aim of the present study was to review the literature about health promotion against smoking cessation during pregnancy and the appropriate approaches and interventions of health promoters on pregnant women in order to stop smoking. Method and material: The methodology that was followed included bibliography review from the both the research and the review literature of Greek and international data base which referred to health promotion and smoking cessation during pregnancy. Results: In western countries women smokers are likely to increase as a percentage of a total smoking population. Researchers indicate that women display a greater reliance on smoking to help them deal with emotional conflicts. The fact that smoking during pregnancy can harm the fetus as well as the mother is well known. However, a great number of women continue to smoke during their pregnancy and interventions to pregnant smokers reveal to be complex and difficult. Health professionals such as physicians, nurses, midwives and health visitors are well placed to provide smoking cessation interventions mostly because they should be trained and because also they come in contact with pregnant smokers in frequent basis. The science of health promotion and health education provides a variety of counseling and approaching models for pregnant smokers such as “Attitudinal and Behavioral Change”, “Knowledge-Attitude-Behavior”, “Medical”, “Empowerment”, “Rational Educational”, “Health Belief” and “Health Action”. Conclusions: Health professionals from all levels should reconsider their perceptions and attitudes on the importance of maternal smoking during pregnancy and they have to examine which forms of support and approaches are considered to be the most appropriate against maternal smoking taking into account all the delicate issues and the sensitive elements of pregnant women psychology.

Keywords: Pregnant women, maternal smoking, health professionals, health promotion interventions models

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