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Facilitators and barriers to the delivery of school-based smoking prevention interventions for children and young people: a protocol for a systematic review of qualitative studies

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018


BACKGROUND: Despite a decline in child and adult smoking prevalence, young people who smoke (even occasionally) can rapidly become addicted to nicotine, with most adult smokers initiating smoking before they are 18. Schools have long been a popular setting to deliver youth smoking prevention interventions, but evidence of the effectiveness of school-based prevention programmes is mixed, and outcomes vary by the type of programme delivered. Existing systematic reviews that explore the factors contributing to the success or failure of school-based smoking prevention programmes often exclude qualitative studies, due to a focus on intervention effectiveness which qualitative research cannot answer. Instead, qualitative research is focussed on the experiences and perceptions of those involved in the programmes. This systematic review will address this gap by updating a 2009 review to examine qualitative studies. The aim is to generate deeper insight to help target resources which have the potential to save lives by preventing smoking initiation among children and young people.

METHODS: This systematic review will be searching the following databases: the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, HMIC, ERIC, ASSIA, Web of Science and CINAHL. In order to identify additional references, we will consult the reference lists of a sample of systematic reviews and search relevant organizational websites in order to identify appropriate grey literature. The search strategy will include key words and database-specific subject headings relating to smoking, children and young people, health promotion and school. Authors will independently screen, assess data quality and extract data for synthesis. Study findings will be synthesised thematically using 'best-fit framework syntheses'. This allows for an existing set of themes to be used as a starting point to map or code included studies. These themes are then adapted as coding takes place to accommodate new emerging themes.

DISCUSSION: This review will focus on qualitative studies that seek to examine the barriers and facilitators to the delivery of school-based smoking prevention programmes in order to inform the design of future theory-based interventions in schools to prevent children and young people from smoking.


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