Motivating parents of kids with asthma to quit smoking: The PAQS project

Belinda Borrelli, Elizabeth L. McQuaid, Bruce Becker, Katherine Hammond, George Papandonatos, Gregory Fritz, David Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Parents of Asthmatics Quit Smoking (PAQS) project contrasts two theory-based smoking cessation interventions for parents of children with asthma, and compares mechanisms of behavior change within and across theoretical perspectives. We hypothesize that enhancing the perception of risk to self and child will motivate smoking cessation more than standard approaches that emphasize building self-efficacy and coping skills for quitting in a population that is largely not motivated to quit smoking. Smokers (n = 288) and their asthmatic children who receive nurse-delivered in-home asthma education (as part of the insurance carrier's standard of care) are randomized into one of two treatment conditions: (1) the Behavioral Action Model (BAM), in which nurses emphasize goal setting and skill building to enhance self-efficacy to quit smoking, or 2) the Precaution Adoption Model (PAM), in which nurses tailor the intervention to the smoker's readiness to quit and incorporate biomarker feedback [i.e. level of carbon monoxide exposure to the smoker and level of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure to the child] in order to increase risk perception in smokers. In both conditions, smokers who are ready to quit receive the nicotine patch. Analyses will examine (1) quit rates, ETS level and motivation to quit as the primary dependent variables, (2) mediators of behavior change between and within conditions, and (3) relations between parent smoking outcomes and child asthma morbidity (i.e. ER visits and asthma symptoms) post-treatment. Results will help tailor interventions to this population, and identify mechanisms of behavior change that result in adaptive health outcomes for smokers and their children who have asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-669
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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