Implementing an anti-smoking program in rural-remote communities: challenges and strategies

Implementing an anti-smoking program in rural-remote communities: challenges and strategies Journal Article

Rural and Remote Health

  • Author(s): Tall, J. A., Brew, B. K., Saurman, E., Jones, T. C.
  • Published: 2015
  • Volume: 15
  • Edition: 2015/11/05
  • ISBN: 1445-6354 (Electronic) 1445-6354 (Linking)

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Rural-remote communities report higher smoking rates and poorer health outcomes than that of metropolitan areas. While anti-smoking programs are an important measure for addressing smoking and improving health, little is known of the challenges faced by primary healthcare staff implementing those programs in the rural-remote setting. The aim of this study was to explore the challenges and strategies of implementing an anti-smoking program by primary healthcare staff in rural-remote Australia. METHODS: Guided by a phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with health service managers, case managers and general practitioners involved in program implementation in Australian rural-remote communities between 2008 and 2010. RESULTS: Program implementation was reported to be challenged by limited primary and mental healthcare resources and client access to services; limited collaboration between health services; the difficulty of accessing staff training; high levels of community distress and disadvantage; the normalisation of smoking and its deleterious impact on smoking abstinence among program clients; and low morale among health staff. Strategies identified to overcome challenges included appointing tobacco-dedicated staff; improving health service collaboration, access and flexibility; providing subsidised pharmacotherapies and boosting staff morale. CONCLUSIONS: Findings may assist health services to better tailor anti-smoking programs for the rural-remote setting, where smoking rates are particularly high. Catering for the unique challenges of the rural-remote setting is necessary if anti-smoking programs are to be efficacious, cost-effective and capable of improving rural-remote health outcomes.

  • Urls: https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/3516
  • Keywords: Australia, Female, Focus Groups, Health Care Reform, Health Plan Implementation, Health Promotion/ organization & administration, Health Services Accessibility/ organization & administration, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Primary Health Care/ organization & administration, Program Development, Program Evaluation, Rural Health Services/ organization & administration, Rural Population, Smoking/adverse effects/epidemiology, Smoking Cessation/ methods/statistics & numerical data

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Suggested Citation
Tall, J. A., Brew, B. K., Saurman, E., Jones, T. C., 2015, Implementing an anti-smoking program in rural-remote communities: challenges and strategies, Edition:2015/11/05, Volume:15, Journal Article, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=13605.

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