Smoking Cessation in Lower Socioeconomic Groups: Adaptation and Pilot Test of a Rolling Group Intervention

L L Landais, Janneke Harting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Socioeconomic inequalities in smoking rates persist and tend to increase, as evidence-based smoking cessation programs are insufficiently accessible and appropriate for lower socioeconomic status (SES) smokers to achieve long-term abstinence. Our study is aimed at systematically adapting and pilot testing a smoking cessation intervention for this specific target group. Methods. First, we conducted a needs assessment, including a literature review and interviews with lower SES smokers and professional stakeholders. Next, we selected candidate interventions for adaptation and decided which components needed to be adopted, adapted, or newly developed. We used Intervention Mapping to select effective methods and practical strategies and to build a coherent smoking cessation program. Finally, we pilot tested the adapted intervention to assess its potential effectiveness and its acceptability for lower SES smokers. Results. The core of the adapted rolling group intervention was the evidence-based combination of behavioral support and pharmacotherapy. The intervention offered both group and individual support. It was open to smokers, smokers who had quit, and quitters who had relapsed. The professional-led group meetings had a fixed structure. Themes addressed included quitting-related coping skills and health-related and poverty-related issues. Methods applied were role modeling, practical learning, reinforcement, and positive feedback. In the pilot test, half of the 22 lower SES smokers successfully quit smoking. The intervention allowed them to "quit at their own pace"and to continue despite a possible relapse. Participants appraised the opportunities for social comparison and role modeling and the encouraging atmosphere. The trainers were appreciated for their competencies and personal feedback. Conclusions. Our adapted rolling group intervention for lower SES smokers was potentially effective as well as feasible, suitable, and acceptable for the target group. Further research should determine the intervention's effectiveness. Our detailed report about the adaptation process and resulting intervention may help reveal the mechanisms through which such interventions might operate effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8830912
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2021

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