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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Brown Researchers Develop a Tailored Video Intervention to Reduce Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Exposure during and After Pregnancy

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with increased risk of several negative health outcomes, especially for pregnant women and infants. Unfortunately however, past research has suggested that a significant number of women are exposed to ETS during their pregnancy. Behavioral strategies to improve the parent’s ability to reduce ETS in their home may contribute to reduction of ETS exposure during and after pregnancy.


[Photo: Dr. Patricia Risica]

The purpose of this paper, led by Dr. Patricia Risica, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, and faculty member in the Center for Health Equity Research, was to describe the Baby’s Breath study; a randomized, controlled trial of a tailored video intervention. The study aimed to test the efficacy of tailored video verses usual care approaches to reduce the ETS exposure of fetuses of low-income women during and after pregnancy; and to assess this intervention separately among non-smoking and smoking women.

The intervention included a series of five DVDs for the pregnant participant, a single DVD for her partner, and eight newsletters to provide information regarding the risk of smoke exposure to both the participant and the unborn fetus, as well to identify strategies for smoking cessation and reducing or eliminating ETS exposure. The videos were individually tailored to each participant based on their responses to behavioral theory-based survey questions. For example, non-smoking participants who reported their participant was not cooperative with respect to smoking in the home were shown different video clips than those who reported a more cooperative partner. Comparison participants received non-tailored newsletters and videos on general healthy pregnancy topics.

Outcomes measures include the concentration of salivary cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, in both the pregnant woman and their infant after birth, as well as self-reported ETS exposure and avoidance behaviors. This study may demonstrate the efficacy of a low-cost intervention to decrease ETS exposure, and will fill an important gap in describing the utility of innovative video tailoring technology.

This study was published in Contemporary Clinical Trials, Volume 52 (ahead of print), 2016.

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