Aims: The harm caused by tobacco smoking during pregnancy is well established. Smoking prevelence is three times higher among pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women compared to non-Indigenous Australian women (52% v 16%). The project aims to deliver a culturally appropriate, intensive smoking cessation support program to pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS).
Methods: A multi-phased approach is adopted to equip health professionals with the knowledge, confidence and skills to deliver the program within their communities. Phase one provides a broad overview for AMS staff and community members, including content on nicotine addiction and smoking cessation approaches. Phase two includes additional training in an intensive smoking cessation support program, available to health professionals working directly with pregnant women. Phase three involves the health professionals implementing a culturally appropriate intensive smoking cessation support program which will be tailored to their clients and families. Qualitative and quantitative data will capture both process and outcome measures and provide practical recommendations for other working within this sector.
Results: To date, phase one is nearing completion and phase 2 has begun for participating AMS in North and South East Queensland. Ongoing engagement and consultation within these communities continues to identify varying needs and feedback is guiding and informing further development and refinement of the project.
Conclusions: Building on principles of self-determination, this intensive smoking cessation program aims to empower and build resilience among pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to overcome tobacco addiction and elicit sustainable health outcomes for these mothers and their babies.