204069 Knowledge, attitude, and practices of pregnant women in Armenia regarding environmental tobacco smoke (ETS): A qualitative study

Monday, November 9, 2009

Liana Atabekyan, MD, MPH , College of Health Sciences, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Kim Arzoumanian, PhD , College of Health Sciences, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Margaret B. Pierce, PhD , “Habitat Humanity” Int Org, Charlotte, NC
Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore the knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women regarding ETS.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted among 25 pregnant women above 18 years of age registered for prenatal care in the maternal centers of Yerevan and Nor-Hachn, Armenia 2007. Sampling was done by convenience. Interviews were tape-recorded.

Results: The study revealed very poor knowledge on ETS health effects, particularly on pregnant woman and fetus. Although all interviewees expressed negative attitude to ETS exposure, mainly because of respiratory disorders and nausea, they had tolerant behavior toward passive smoking in their households. All of them mentioned no actions to avoid tobacco smoke. Even those few women who realized the danger of smoke and try to avoid it got no results and conflicts in the family. The study showed that social and cultural factors, such as the dominance of males, social hierarchy, and a lack of empowerment of a woman in the family, plays significant role in pregnant women high ETS exposure at households. The study also yielded an absence of information on ETS given by health care providers, specifically by gynecologists and nurses.

Conclusion: This qualitative research offered an opportunity to understand deeply the determinants of high ETS exposure of pregnant woman in the household unit, as well as to reveal social and cultural issues of this problem. The study findings will serve as a scientific base for future policy implication in tobacco control in Armenia.

Learning Objectives:
•Appreciate the qualitative method of research to understand in-depth the phenomenon of high ETS exposure at households •Describe the knowledge of pregnant women about ETS health effects •Describe the attitude of pregnant women about ETS exposure •Describe the behavior of pregnant women to avoid or minimize ETS exposure •Describe the role of social and cultural factors in the household ETS exposure of pregnant women

Keywords: Tobacco, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Medical Doctor in Preventive Medicine(Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia, and I have a Master degree in Public Health(American University of Armenia, College of Health Sciences). My research experience has included different fields of public health with concentration on infectious diseases, nutrition, tobacco control, and pharmaceutical availability and affordability in Armenia.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.