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As a treatment medium, videos have been largely untested. However, the potential of the video medium to broaden the extensiveness and effectiveness of minimal or self help interventions has been discussed in the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research guideline for smoking cessation.1 This may be a particularly important time to focus on innovations in self help technology for pregnant smokers. Printed materials are the major media by which current self help interventions are delivered, and in the general population their overall effectiveness has been shown to be similar to no treatment control conditions.1 Moreover, currently available treatments for pregnant smokers have often emphasised provider delivered counselling but have typically failed to incorporate treatment components that address some of the major contributors to relapse in the general population, such as negative affect, depression, smoking cues, positive mood/celebration, etc.2 Videos may provide an important opportunity to demonstrate clinically relevant problem solving behaviour in these circumstances, without the costs involved with face to face counselling. Video cassette recorder (VCR) ownership is reported by nearly 88% of all Americans, including 75% of those classified at the poverty level.3 4 Hence a successfully implemented intervention could be easily disseminated to a large number of smokers. The objective of this study was to compare the pre- and postpartum cessation rates associated with a limited self help (usual care) treatment intervention to a usual care plus video intervention.
This was a community based randomised controlled trial of a minimal smoking cessation intervention conducted in a university setting.
Participants in the Very Important Pregnant Smokers (VIPS) study were volunteers, recruited from Houston and the surrounding metropolitan area. Women were recruited using newspaper, radio, and television public service announcements, subscriber newsletters for members of local health maintenance organisations, flyers in community businesses providing …