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More help needed to improve smoking cessation services for pregnant women with mental disorders
Date:11/20/2012

ders, often prioritised the management of mental health care over stopping smoking due to the perceived negative impact that stopping smoking would have on their mental health symptoms.

Professor Louise Howard from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, and co-author of the study, said:

"We found that the women with mental disorders were more motivated to participate in the smoking cessation programmes at the start of their pregnancy, but by delivery they were significantly less likely to have stopped smoking.

"The perceived barriers to quitting were common among both groups, and the additional psychological condition of the women with mental disorders is clearly a major factor contributing to them not stopping smoking. The women who we interviewed said that they and their doctors prioritised their mental health over their smoking problem as they were worried that if they tried to stop smoking their mental health could deteriorate.

"It is clear from our findings that research in to how to support pregnant women with mental disorders in stopping smoking is urgently needed so that their pregnancy outcome and longer term health of the child can be improved."

John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added:

"Smoking is the leading preventable cause of fetal and childhood morbidity and mortality in high income countries like the UK, which is why current guidelines stress that referral from maternity services is a very important role in antenatal care for pregnant smokers.

"Women generally are more likely to stop smoking during pregnancy than at any other time, and overall smoking cessation programmes during pregnancy do reduce the proportion of women who continue to smoke.

"This study shows that there is a clear weak link in the current system when it comes to women with mental health problems and it needs to be addressed in order to eliminate any further health inequality for this
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Contact: Caitlin Walsh
cwalsh@rcog.org.uk
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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