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Publication Detail
“If I’d Known …”—a Theory-Informed Systematic Analysis of Missed Opportunities in Optimising Use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Accessing Relevant Support: a Qualitative Study
© 2018, The Author(s). Purpose: Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is often used suboptimally by smokers. Previous research has focused on cognitions and attitudes as potential reasons. This study drew on theoretical frameworks of behaviour to comprehensively explore smokers’ NRT use to identify new intervention targets. Methods: Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 16 adult UK-based smokers and ex-smokers who used NRT in recent quit attempts (mean (SD) age = 34.9(10.3); 82.3% women). The COM-B (capability, opportunity, motivation, behaviour) model and the theoretical domains framework informed the interviews and analyses. Data were analysed in NVivo 11. Results: Two related behaviours were identified relevant to NRT use: use of NRT per se and engaging with information and support with NRT use. A meta-theme of “missed opportunity” identified instances when smokers did not or could not engage in these behaviours. For use of NRT per se, these included limited knowledge, poor technique of use, low motivation to optimise use, and lack of role models. For engaging with information and support, they included low awareness of optimal use techniques, selective information-seeking, low expectations, limited exposure to guidelines, deficient advice from healthcare professionals, and suboptimal product display. Prior suboptimal experience tended to negatively affect subsequent use and views. Participants were interested in accessible and comprehensive guidelines on NRT and its use. Conclusions: There appear to be important missed opportunities for optimal use of NRT both in terms of use itself and engagement with information on optimal use. These missed opportunities arise from a range of capability, motivational, and opportunity-related factors.
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