Pregnant Aboriginal women self-assess health risks from smoking and efficacy to quit over time using an adapted Risk Behaviour Diagnosis (RBD) Scale

ICAN QUIT in Pregnancy Pilot Group

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Introduction. During pregnancy, the imperative to stop smoking becomes urgent due to health risks for mother and baby. Aim. Explore responses to a smoking-related, pregnancy-focused Risk Behaviour Diagnosis (RBD) Scale over time with Aboriginal1 pregnant women. Methods. Six Aboriginal Medical Services in three states recruited 22 eligible women: <28 weeks' gestation, >16 years old, smoked tobacco, pregnant with an Aboriginal baby. Surveys were completed at baseline (n = 22), 4-weeks (n = 16) and 12-weeks (n = 17). RBD Scale outcome measures included: perceived threat (susceptibility and severity), perceived efficacy (response and self-efficacy), fear control (avoidance), danger control (intentions to quit) and protection responses (protecting babies). Results. At baseline, the total mean threat scores at 4.2 (95% CI: 3.9-4.4) were higher than total mean efficacy scores at 3.9 (95% CI: 3.6-4.1). Over time there was a non-significant reduction in total mean threat and efficacy; fear control increased; danger control and protection responses remained stable. Reduction of threat and efficacy perceptions, with raised fear control responses, may indicate a blunting effect (a coping style which involves avoidance of risks). Conclusion. In 22 Aboriginal pregnant women, risk perception changed over time. A larger study is warranted to understand how Aboriginal women perceive smoking risks as the pregnancy progresses so that health messages are delivered accordingly.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Smoking Cessation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2020. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.


  • Indigenous populations
  • Maternal smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk behaviour
  • Tobacco smoking


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