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Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
 
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 500.
Published online 2012 July 3. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-500
PMCID: PMC3416689

Eating the elephant whole or in slices: views of participants in a smoking cessation intervention trial on multiple behaviour changes as sequential or concurrent tasks

Abstract

Background

This paper explores smoking cessation participants’ perceptions of attempting weight management alongside smoking cessation within the context of a health improvement intervention implemented in Glasgow, Scotland.

Methods

One hundred and thirty-eight participants were recruited from smoking cessation classes in areas of multiple deprivation in Glasgow and randomised to intervention, receiving dietary advice, or to control groups. The primary outcome of the study was to determine the % change in body weight. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 15 intervention and 15 control participants at weeks 6 (during the intervention) and 24 (at the end of the intervention). The current paper, though predominantly qualitative, links perceptions of behaviour modification to % weight change and cessation rates at week 24 thereby enabling a better understanding of the mediators influencing multiple behaviour change.

Results

Our findings suggest that participants who perceive separate behaviour changes as part of a broader approach to a healthier lifestyle, and hence attempt behaviour changes concurrently, may be at comparative advantage in positively achieving dual outcomes.

Conclusions

These findings highlight the need to assess participants’ preference for attempting multiple behaviour changes sequentially or simultaneously in addition to assessing their readiness to change. Further testing of this hypothesis is warranted.

Trial Registration

ISRCTN94961361


Articles from BMC Public Health are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central