Smoking cessation counselling for pregnant and postpartum women among midwives, gynaecologists and paediatricians in Germany

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Jan;6(1):96-107. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6010096. Epub 2009 Jan 5.


The incorporation of guidelines for the treatment of tobacco smoking into routine care requires positive attitudes, counselling skills and knowledge about additional help available for smokers. The study assesses performance of smoking cessation intervention, attitudes, training status and knowledge about additional help for smokers in the care for pregnant and parenting women by midwives, gynaecologists and paediatricians. A survey of all midwives, gynaecologists and paediatricians registered for primary medical care in the federal state Saarland, Germany, was conducted. Participation in the postal questionnaires was 85 %. Depending on profession, 90 % to 100 % see smoking cessation counselling as their assignment, 17 % to 80 % screen for, 48 % to 90 % document smoking status, and 55 % to 76 % offer brief or extensive counselling. 61 % to 87 % consider training to enhance their knowledge and/or counselling skills necessary. The compliance of providers with the necessity to give support in smoking cessation is very high. However, the current status of cessation counselling does not sufficiently correspond to the evidence based requirements. Reports in medical press and advanced training courses should support health care providers and establish smoking as an inherent topic of the anamnesis and treatment of current and former pregnant or parenting smokers.

Keywords: Smoking cessation counselling pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Directive Counseling
  • Education, Continuing
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Gynecology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Midwifery
  • Pediatrics
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention