NHS Stoke-on-Trent, Research into smoking
On behalf of NHS Stoke-on-Trent, Unique undertook a qualitative study to explore the barriers and motivation to male smokers aged 18 to 34 wanting to quit smoking.
Unique was asked to study the barriers preventing a specific group quitting smoking, with a particular emphasis on whether they were aware of the existing ‘stop smoking’ services in the city.
Furthermore, Unique was asked to diagnose any particular problems or issues, and to identify from the insight opportunities to improve the numbers of men in this category accessing the available support.
What Unique did
Unique reviewed the research already conducted by the PCT and identified a number of points which brought up areas of interest for further discussion in the focus groups. It was decided that further research work was needed to inform either a strategic social marketing programme or a planned operational intervention (or a mixture of the two).
An analysis of the previous research identified that with the target group in question there were knowledge gaps concerning key area such as motivation to quit; their knowledge of help available; their attitudes to seeking help; lifestyle; potential campaign tactics; media consumption; views on existing collateral. It was agreed with the PCT that a series of eight focus groups would be run. Local employers were engaged in the recruitment process, and this had the advantage that they were keen to co-operate with the PCT in later stages of the project.
Discussions between Unique, the PCT and one of the employers involved in the project so far have led to the introduction of a pilot programme to introduce stop smoking groups in the workplace.
The first groups were preceded by further work with the target workplace audience to (a) explain face-to-face what the new groups would involve and (b) test promotional collateral. The first new workplace groups are now being run and will be evaluated before the PCT decides whether to widen the new service provision.
Deborah Richardson, Senior Health Improvement Specialist, said: “Working with Unique has helped us to gain real understanding and insight in what routine and manual workers who want to stop smoking want and need from the Stoke on Trent Stop Smoking service. This insight has helped us redesign the service for this segment of the population and this is already showing positive results.”