Antenatal smoking in vulnerable population groups: An area of need

C. Gilligan*, R. Sanson-Fisher, S. Eades, C. D'Este

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Antenatal smoking is a potentially preventable risk factor associated with pre-term birth and low birth weight. Rates of antenatal smoking, low birth weight, and infant mortality are all higher among the Indigenous populations than the non-Indigenous populations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. Given this, it might be expected that publications examining smoking cessation efforts in Indigenous antenatal groups would be substantive. We examined the differences in the number and type of antenatal smoking publications for Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations across three time periods (1984 - 86, 1994 - 96 and 2004 - 06). Articles were classified as research studies (focusing on measurement, descriptive, or intervention studies), literature reviews, descriptions of programmes or research (with no data), or discussions. There was a significant increase in the number of publications relating to antenatal smoking among Indigenous populations in the time periods examined, but the total number of publications remained small. The number relating to general antenatal populations increased, but remained substantially lower than that relating to low birth weight. There was no increase in the proportional allocation of research articles to the intervention category in the later time period. The pattern of research output relating to antenatal smoking by mainstream or Indigenous populations is not optimal for advancement of knowledge in the field. There is a clear need for intervention-based research to allow the development of evidence-based practice for reducing the prevalence of antenatal smoking and associated health issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-671
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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