Application of causal model to maternal smoking cessation intervention in pregnancy


The adverse effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on both the offspring and women are well known. The main objective of this research article is to provide health professional causal modelling approach to make a more comprehensive assessment of major determinants of smoking behaviour during and after pregnancy and consequently the outcomes of pregnant women smoking which are adversely affecting both the offspring and pregnant women. The causal model based on theory and evidence was modified and applied to material smoking cessation intervention to control the adverse effects of smoking on offspring obesity and neurodevelopment. In this approach a generic model links behavioural determinants, causally through behaviour, to physiological and biochemical variables, and health outcomes. It is tailored to context, target population, behaviours and health outcomes. The model provides a rational guide to appropriate measures, intervention points and intervention techniques, and can be tested quantitatively. The causal modelling approach showed promising results which can be used to help maternal smoking women to understand the risk of smoking and help them to quit smoking. The regression analysis of maternal smoking women BMI (n = 1000) on offspring BMI was statistically significant, p < 0.05, 95% CI (0.28 - 0.38) and so was the analysis of offspring SBP on maternal BMI for male offsprings, p < 0.05, 95% CI (0.06 - 0.43) but not for female offsprings (p > 0.05). This supported the hypothesis that maternal smoking women BMI during pregnancy is an important determinant of offspring obesity and consequently the risk factors of cardiovascular development. The causal modelling approach is unique as it provides an incentive to health professional to use these models to target any important and modifiable determinants of the maternal smoking behaviour and decrease the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for the offspring and the mother.

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Ansari, R. , Dixon, J. , Browning, C. and Ansari, S. (2013) Application of causal model to maternal smoking cessation intervention in pregnancy. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 347-354. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.34047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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