Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and Behavioral Health Research Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street Southwest, Charlton 6-273, Rochester, MN 55901, USA. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Among Alaska Native women residing in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta region of Western Alaska, about 79% smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco during pregnancy. Treatment methods developed and evaluated among Alaska Native pregnant tobacco users do not exist. This pilot study used a randomized two-group design to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a targeted cessation intervention for Alaska Native pregnant women. METHODS: Recruitment occurred over an 8-month period. Enrolled participants were randomly assigned to the control group (n = 18; brief face-to-face counseling at the first visit and written materials) or to the intervention group (n = 17) consisting of face-to-face counseling at the first visit, four telephone calls, a video highlighting personal stories, and a cessation guide. Interview-based assessments were conducted at baseline and follow-up during pregnancy (>or=60 days postrandomization). Feasibility was determined by the recruitment and retention rates. RESULTS: The participation rate was very low with only 12% of eligible women (35/293) enrolled. Among enrolled participants, the study retention rates were high in both the intervention (71%) and control (94%) groups. The biochemically confirmed abstinence rates at follow-up were 0% and 6% for the intervention and control groups, respectively. DISCUSSION: The low enrollment rate suggests that the program was not feasible or acceptable. Alternative approaches are needed to improve the reach and efficacy of cessation interventions for Alaska Native women.
BACKGROUND: Tobacco dependence interventions developed for Alaska Natives are virtually nonexistent. Alaska Natives residing on the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y--K) Delta in southwestern Alaska use a unique form of smokeless tobacco (ST) known as Iqmik. This study employed focus group methodology to explore attitudes toward tobacco use and tobacco dependence interventions among Alaska Natives residing on the Y-K Delta. METHODS: Twelve focus groups of former and current tobacco users were conducted in four villages in the Y-K Delta. Participants were 35 adults (83% female) and 22 adolescents (27% female). Participants completed a brief demographic and tobacco use history form. Statements from the focus groups were transcribed for content coding and analysis of the major themes. RESULTS: Use of Iqmik in the villages is thought to be ubiquitous. Y-K Delta Alaska Natives are introduced to Iqmik at a very young age. Iqmik is mostly used and prepared by young Alaska Natives and adult women. There are few perceived adverse health effects of Iqmik or other tobacco use. Although there is interest in stopping, there is a perceived lack of availability of tobacco dependence interventions. The major barriers to preventing the initiation of and stopping tobacco use are the social acceptance and widespread use and availability of tobacco. CONCLUSION: The attitudes toward tobacco and identified barriers to stopping will be useful in developing tobacco dependence interventions for Alaska Natives.