Postpartum smoking relapse - A thematic synthesis of qualitative studies

Notley, Caitlin ORCID:, Blyth, Annie, Craig, Jean, Edwards, Alice and Holland, Richard (2015) Postpartum smoking relapse - A thematic synthesis of qualitative studies. Addiction, 110 (11). 1712–1723. ISSN 0965-2140

[thumbnail of PReSeRVE paper accepted 9-7-15] Microsoft Word (PReSeRVE paper accepted 9-7-15) - Accepted Version
Download (297kB)


Background and aims: Many women quit smoking during pregnancy but relapse after the baby is born. To understand why and identify ways of preventing this, this study reviewed the qualitative literature on women’s experience of postpartum smoking relapse. Methods: A systematic review of qualitative studies and process evaluations of trials. We undertook a thematic synthesis of published qualitative data. Results: We screened 1,336 papers. Twenty-two papers reporting on 16 studies were included, reporting on the views of 1,031 postpartum women. Factors affecting relapse and barriers and facilitators to relapse prevention were identified around the key themes of beliefs, social influences, motivation, physiological factors and identity. Women’s beliefs about smoking as a means of coping with stress, and the need for social support, especially from a partner, emerged as important. Extrinsic motivation to quit during the pregnancy (for the health of the foetus) appeared to be a factor prompting relapse after the baby was born. During the immediate postpartum period women believed that physiological changes influence cigarette cravings. The stress of caring for a newborn, sleeplessness, and adjusting to a new mothering identity were also reported to be important. Conclusions: Among women who quit smoking during pregnancy, those who relapse postpartum commonly talk about no longer needing to protect the baby, and the effects of stress. Partner support and a sense of changed identity, are cited as factors preventing relapse.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tobbaco smoking,relapse prevention,qualitative systematic review,medicine(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Public Health and Health Services Research (former - to 2023)
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 23:06
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 01:43
DOI: 10.1111/add.13062


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item