Hong Kong Med J 2007;13(Suppl 4):S25-7
A randomised controlled trial of a health education intervention provided by nurses to mothers of sick children
S Chan, TH Lam
Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong, 4/F, William MW Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China
1. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure is a serious health hazard to children and occurs commonly in Hong Kong.
2. Brief health education intervention by nurses in a busy clinical setting produced shortterm effects in terms of (a) raising awareness in mothers and motivating them to protect their children from the exposure; (b) helping fathers to quit; (c) reducing fathers’ cigarette consumption; (d) initiating quit attempts in the fathers; and (e) ultimately reducing the exposure of environmental tobacco smoke in their sick children. However, these shortterm effects were not sustained at the 12-month follow-up.
3. More intensive interventions are necessary for long-term effects and need testing in new trials. The short-term effects from brief intervention are nevertheless worthwhile, though reinforcement may be needed. Stronger tobacco control measures to promote a non-smoking culture in homes and among children are needed. Nurses can play key roles in providing individual counselling and advocacy of smoke-free homes in Hong Kong.