Clean air for babies: an integrated support system and app designed to increase perinatal smoking cessation
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Mind Innovations, Israel
Women's health services at Meuhedet health provider, Israel
Meuhedet health provider, Israel
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A67
Aim and Objective:
Approximately 10% of pregnant Israeli women smoke. To date smoking cessation programs across Israel consist mainly of group interventions, but these have shown to be less effective during pregnancy due to the demand for intensive and immediate support. Smoking cessation during pregnancy is further complicated, as smoking while pregnant leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Such anxiety has been shown to lead to mood shifts and in some cases depression. Meuhedet is the third largest healthcare provider in Israel with over 1.2M members, many relatively young, with 30,000 births annually. One of our major concerns is perinatal smoking.

We are currently developing an integrated support program consisting of two modules: a unique counsellor training program and a 6-week active intervention program, including use of a specialized app. We have already completed the counselor training program and are currently running the 6-week intervention program. We have partnered up with—a company focused on creating innovations in therapeutic care—in order to create the CBT-based app. The app provides motivation, knowledge, and skills by tracking progress, assigning tasks, and providing participants with a clear pathway towards their quit date.

Our counselor training program gave smoking cessation counselors practical clinical tools for delivering extensive emotional support to expectant mothers. This program integrated theoretical background with practical protocols to attend the patients’ intense emotional needs, based on current psychological theories (CBT, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change and Mindset Theory). This was conducted over a 36-hour course to a group of experienced smoking cessation counselors.

Our perinatal smoking intervention program is ongoing, and the app is in its final stages of development.

Thirty-six smoking cessation counselors completed the training course. We used questionnaires to evaluate knowledge and skills pre-and post-intervention, and participant satisfaction. Satisfaction was very high (Mean=9.81/10 ;sd=0.48) with high correlation between all items. Most participants responded that the materials were new to them (2.21/4 on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being “highly agree”). Knowledge and skills increased from 5.93 to 8.86 (on a scale of 1-10, paired t-test; p<0.001). We are enthusiastic to report on the intervention program, as well as the app, in the coming months.

Our advanced training module for experienced counselors significantly increased their skills and met their expectations. Treatment commences at this period of time. Our presentation focuses on our consultation training module and our overall program, including our smoking cessation app.

The project is being funded by the Global Bridges organization.

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