Some lessons from Swedish midwives' experiences of approaching women smokers in antenatal care

Agneta Abrahamsson, Jane Springett, Leif Karlsson, Anders Håkansson, Torgny Ottosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: to describe the qualitatively different ways in which midwives make sense of how to approach women smokers. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: a more person-centred national project 'Smoke-free pregnancy' has been in progress in Sweden since 1992. Using a phenomenographic approach, 24 midwives who have been regularly working in antenatal care were interviewed about addressing smoking during pregnancy. FINDINGS: four different story types of how the midwives made sense of their experiences in addressing smoking in pregnancy were identified: 'avoiding', 'informing', 'friend-making', 'co-operating'. KEY CONCLUSION: the midwives' story types about how they approached women who smoke illustrated the difficulties of changing from being an expert who gives information and advice to being an expert on how to enable a woman in finding out why she smoked and how to stop smoking. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: health education about smoking that is built on co-operation and dialogue was seen by the midwives as a productive way of working. The starting point should be the lay perspective of a woman, which means that her thoughts about smoking cessation are given the space to grow while she talks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology (30302)
  • Medical and Health Sciences (3)


  • person-centred health education
  • phenomenography
  • pregnancy
  • professional perspectives
  • smoking cessation


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