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Promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy: A feasibility and pilot trial of a digital storytelling intervention delivered via text‐messaging

King, Emma; Cheyne, Helen; Abhyankar, Purva; Elders, Andrew; Grindle, Mark; Hapca, Adrian; Jones, Claire; O�Carroll, Ronan; Steele, Mary; Williams, Brian


Emma King

Helen Cheyne

Purva Abhyankar

Andrew Elders

Mark Grindle

Adrian Hapca

Claire Jones

Ronan O�Carroll

Mary Steele

Brian Williams


Smoking during pregnancy causes risks to mother and infant health. We investigated the feasibility and likely success of SKIP-IT, a narrative and picture-based smoking cessation intervention delivered via text messages.

A feasibility and pilot trial. We aimed to recruit 70 pregnant women who smoked, randomised to usual care alone, or usual care and the SKIP-IT intervention, between 12 weeks of pregnancy and 6 weeks post due-date. Outcomes assessed were recruitment, retention, acceptability of, and engagement with the intervention, smoking behaviour, intentions, perceived risk, and self-efficacy.

Of 312 women initially approached by smoking cessation services only 54 (17%) agreed to be contacted by the research team. Twenty were then either ineligible or uncontactable and 28 (82%) participated. Most women reported texts to be entertaining and helpful. The proportion of women not smoking at follow-up was lower in the intervention group, but numbers were too small to draw conclusions about effectiveness.

The intervention was acceptable, but difficulty in making initial and follow-up contacts meant our methods were unfeasible for a larger trial.

Practice implications
Digital Storytelling interventions could help women quit smoking, but further research is required to identify alternative methods for studies with pregnant women who smoke.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 30, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Publication Date 2022-07
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 10, 2022
Journal Patient Education and Counseling
Print ISSN 0738-3991
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 105
Issue 7
Pages 2562-2572
Keywords Smoking, Pregnancy, Behaviour change, Intervention, Text-messaging
Public URL


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