Objective: To review how health care providers' (HCPs) engage in smoking cessation (SC) with pregnant smokers, and to examine the effect of system-level approaches and training initiatives to promote SC provision by HCPs.
Data sources: A comprehensive search of the CINAHL, COCHRANE Library, EMBASE, ERIC, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and SIGLE databases was conducted.
Study selection: Selected studies assessed the behaviors of HCPs working among pregnant/postpartum girls and women, employed a quantitative approach, and had clearly defined behavioral outcomes of HCPs' delivery of SC to pregnant smokers.
Data extraction: A total of 988 studies were obtained from the literature search, of which 28 publications met the inclusion criteria. The data extracted from the articles are presented under the following areas: how HCPs are engaging pregnant smokers and approaches to enhancing SC by HCP with pregnant smokers.
Data synthesis: Although more than 50% of HCPs are likely to ask women about their smoking status and advise pregnant smokers to quit, fewer than 50% either assess readiness to change, assist in smoking cessation, or arrange for follow-up appointments/referrals. Important provider-specific, patient-specific, and system/organizational barriers were found to hinder the provision of SC by HCP. Several system-level and training approaches to enhancing HCP's engagement in SC with pregnant smokers show merit.
Conclusions: Few HCPs working with pregnant women use all the components of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality clinical guidelines. However, system-level and training approaches are effective ways to enhance HCP's engagement in SC; although, the effects of such initiatives may not be sustained. Factors such as the gender of the provider, geographical location, and the use of women-centered treatment approaches could be further examined in relation to provision of SC by HCPs among pregnant smokers.