Introduction and aims: This study aimed to explore perceptions about financial aspects of smoking cessation among a group of disadvantaged welfare agency clients and their carers.
Design and methods: Qualitative focus groups and in-depth interviews were supplemented with participant exit surveys about preferred smoking cessation strategies. Each discussion was audiotaped, transcribed and analysed using a thematic analysis. The setting was six non-government community welfare service organisations operating in New South Wales, Australia. Eleven social services offered by these organisations participated. Thirty two clients participated in six client focus groups, 35 staff participated in six staff focus groups and eight manager telephone interviews were conducted.
Results: Clients indicated that the cost of nicotine replacement therapy was a barrier to its use and that financial incentives were acceptable. Of the 16 possible strategies listed in the exit survey, the three selected as the most preferred by clients incorporated financial or non-financial assistance. By contrast, staff and managers selected financial and non-financial incentives as the least preferred and least feasible strategies.
Discussion and conclusions: The study found high acceptance of incentives as a smoking cessation strategy among a disadvantaged group of non-government welfare service clients. The comparatively low level of desirability and feasibility from the perspective of service staff and managers suggests implementation of such an approach within the community service setting requires careful further testing.
© 2010 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.