OBJECTIVE - To describe smoking cessation interventions by prenatal care providers and to identify factors associated with best practice.
METHODS - A mailed survey assessed implementation of the "5 A's" of best practice (Ask about smoking; Advise patients to quit; Assess willingness to quit; Assist with a cessation plan; and Arrange follow-up), practice characteristics, intervention training, resources, barriers, and attitudes toward reimbursement. Each factor in association with provider type and best practice implementation was analyzed.
RESULTS - Of 1,138 eligible North Carolina health professionals, 844 responded (74%); 549 were providing prenatal care and returned completed surveys. Most asked about smoking (98%) and advised cessation (100%). Across provider type, one third (31%) consistently implemented all "5 A's" of best practice. Most providers (90%) had at least one material resource (eg, pamphlets), which correlated with nearly 10 times the adjusted odds of best practice (odds ratio [OR] 9.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-72.9). Seventy percent had at least one counseling resource. Having a counseling resource (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4-4.4) and a written protocol to identify staff responsibilities (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5-4.3) were equally associated with best practice. More than one half of providers endorsed reimbursement as influential on best practice.
CONCLUSION - Best practice is well-established to promote prenatal smoking cessation yet implemented by only one third of prenatal care providers in North Carolina. In this study, best practice was associated with resources, practice organization, and reimbursement. Augmented use of available resources (eg, toll-free hotlines) and adequate reimbursement may promote best practice implementation.