Barriers to success: smoking cessation conversations
Using the structure of
The concept of public health involves national and local health initiatives, health education and the creation of social and physical environments to protect and promote population health (Dawson and Verweij, 2015). Health promotion is an integral part of the midwife's role, not only for the woman, but for her family and the wider community (International Confederation of Midwives, 2011; Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2015). Despite widely accepted health risks and available support, the use of tobacco products remains a health issue in the UK, and smoking cessation is a key health promotion topic for midwives. The experience of promoting smoking cessation in a woman's booking appointment triggered the author to examine the challenges of encouraging a health behaviour change. The woman and her partner were both smokers, and the author's experience is used in the form of a case study to demonstrate the barriers to success encountered by health professionals. Communication methods are discussed, and Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) is used to explore the woman's personal attitude, subjective norms and perceived external barriers, before the woman's likelihood to change is determined. Verbal consent from the woman and her partner was gained, and identifying features of the case have been anonymised in compliance with midwives' professional responsibility to maintain confidentiality (NMC, 2015).
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