Aims. This study assessed the applicability of the transtheoretical model to prevent exposure to passive smoking among pregnant women and women with young children in Taiwan. We examined whether women in different stages of change had different knowledge, processes of change, decisional balance and self-efficacy. Background. Although previous studies have found a positive association between the presence of children and a mother's readiness to prevent exposure to passive smoking, a few studies have systematically examined the mothers' stage of adoption for preventive behaviour against passive smoking. Methods. A cross-sectional survey based on self-reported data was conducted in 2005-2006. A total of 315 women was recruited from perinatal and paediatric clinics at four hospitals. The transtheoretical model measures included knowledge, stages of change, processes of change, decisional balance and self-efficacy towards passive smoking. Results. Of the 315 women in the study, 17·1% were at the precontemplation stage, 7·9% were at the contemplation/preparation stage and 74·9% were at the action/maintenance stage. Women at the action/maintenance stage scored the highest in knowledge, process of change, pros of decisional balance and self-efficacy, followed by the women at the contemplation/preparation stage and the women at the precontemplation stage. Conclusions. This study supported the applicability of the transtheoretical model theory for adoption of preventive behaviour against passive smoking among pregnant women and women with young children. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses could educate pregnant women and women with young children to adopt preventive behaviours against passive smoking using stage-matched intervention strategies, targeting the transtheoretical model constructs, to promote behavioural change.
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