Article Text

Perceived barriers to smoking cessation in selected vulnerable groups: a systematic review of the qualitative and quantitative literature
  1. Laura Twyman1,
  2. Billie Bonevski1,
  3. Christine Paul2,
  4. Jamie Bryant2
  1. 1Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, University of Newcastle & Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Laura Twyman; Laura.Twyman{at}newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

Objectives To identify barriers that are common and unique to six selected vulnerable groups: low socioeconomic status; Indigenous; mental illness and substance abuse; homeless; prisoners; and at-risk youth.

Design A systematic review was carried out to identify the perceived barriers to smoking cessation within six vulnerable groups.

Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycInfo were searched using keywords and MeSH terms from each database's inception published prior to March 2014.

Study selection Studies that provided either qualitative or quantitative (ie, longitudinal, cross-sectional or cohort surveys) descriptions of self-reported perceived barriers to quitting smoking in one of the six aforementioned vulnerable groups were included.

Data extraction Two authors independently assessed studies for inclusion and extracted data.

Results 65 eligible papers were identified: 24 with low socioeconomic groups, 16 with Indigenous groups, 18 involving people with a mental illness, 3 with homeless groups, 2 involving prisoners and 1 involving at-risk youth. One study identified was carried out with participants who were homeless and addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs. Barriers common to all vulnerable groups included: smoking for stress management, lack of support from health and other service providers, and the high prevalence and acceptability of smoking in vulnerable communities. Unique barriers were identified for people with a mental illness (eg, maintenance of mental health), Indigenous groups (eg, cultural and historical norms), prisoners (eg, living conditions), people who are homeless (eg, competing priorities) and at-risk youth (eg, high accessibility of tobacco).

Conclusions Vulnerable groups experience common barriers to smoking cessation, in addition to barriers that are unique to specific vulnerable groups. Individual-level, community-level and social network-level interventions are priority areas for future smoking cessation interventions within vulnerable groups.

Trial registration number: A protocol for this review has been registered with PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (Identifier: CRD42013005761).

  • barriers
  • vulnerable populations
  • review
  • smoking cessation
  • disadvantage

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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