Protecting children from secondhand smoke: a mixed-methods feasibility study of a novel smoke-free home interventionReport as inadecuate

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Pilot and Feasibility Studies

, 2:53

First Online: 12 September 2016Received: 23 June 2015Accepted: 17 August 2016DOI: 10.1186-s40814-016-0094-7

Cite this article as: Marsh, J., McNeill, A., Lewis, S. et al. Pilot Feasibility Stud 2016 2: 53. doi:10.1186-s40814-016-0094-7


BackgroundGlobally, 40 % of children under 14 years are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke SHS, typically in their homes. There is limited evidence of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce children’s SHS exposure, and so the aim of this study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of a novel intervention to help parents and carers caregivers to reduce their children’s exposure to SHS at home.

MethodsA novel multi-component intervention to support caregivers to reduce their children’s SHS exposure at home was tested in a two-phase feasibility study. The 12-week intensive intervention delivered in the home consisted of three components: behavioural support, nicotine replacement therapy NRT for temporary abstinence and feedback on levels of SHS exposure in the form of children’s salivary cotinine phase 1 or home air quality PM2.5 phase 2. Participants were caregivers who smoked inside their homes and had at least one child under the age of 5 years living with them the majority of the time. Mixed-methods were used to explore the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention as well as processes, particularly around recruitment and retention, for an exploratory efficacy trial.

ResultsTwelve caregivers completed the study, all received personalised feedback on SHS exposure and behavioural support to help them to make their homes smoke-free and the majority at least tried NRT. Saliva cotinine results were variable in phase 1, and therefore, measures of PM2.5 were used for feedback in phase 2. Behavioural support was well received with personalised feedback reported as being the key motivator for initiating and maintaining behaviour change.

ConclusionsRecruiting disadvantaged caregivers was labour intensive, but once recruited, this novel intervention was both feasible and acceptable in supporting caregivers to reduce their children’s exposure to SHS at home. It is appropriate to test the efficacy of this novel intervention in an exploratory randomised controlled trial.

Trial registrationThis is not applicable for the current study; however, a registered exploratory randomised controlled trial linked to this manuscript is currently ongoing ISRCTN81701383.

KeywordsSecondhand smoke Smoke-free homes Complex intervention PM2.5 Feasibility study Acceptability Mixed-methods Recruitment AbbreviationsCCsChildren’s centres

NRTNicotine replacement therapy

PM2.5Particulate matter <2.5 μm

SHSSecondhand smoke

SFHSmoke-free home

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s40814-016-0094-7 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Author: John Marsh - Ann McNeill - Sarah Lewis - Tim Coleman - Manpreet Bains - Alexandra Larwood - Jacqueline Purdy - Laura L Jo


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