REFRESH: Reducing families exposure to second-hand smoke
April Shaw, Dr Rachel O'Donnell and Dr Deborah Ritchie
April Shaw Senior Researcher, Action on Health (ASH) Scotland, Edinburgh
Dr Rachel O Donnell Policy and Research Manager, Action on Health (ASH) Scotland
The REFRESH feasibility study is a Big Lottery funded project that aims to increase practitioner and parent knowledge of issues related to secondhand smoke exposure in the home and improve associated policy and practice in Scotland.
The REFRESH team has undertaken an innovative intervention that has provided parents that smoke with home air-quality feedback alongside a motivational interview. The findings have been promising and suggest that providing personalised information to parents can effect positive changes in smoking behaviours in the home.
In addition to the intervention, REFRESH has carried out a portfolio of desk-top research that included a baseline survey of practitioners working with families and children. Incorporating the findings from the intervention and desk-top research, REFRESH has produced a How to Guide – Creating a smoke-free home, specifically for practitioners working with families and children. The guide was peer developed with input from early years’ professionals, second-hand smoke coordinators and parents. The main aim of the REFRESH how to guide’ is to provide practitioners with the knowledge and confidence to raise the issue of second-hand smoke with parents and carers who smoke in a non-judgemental and empathetic way.
April Shaw is Senior Researcher with ASH Scotland. Her key roles on the REFRESH project are to co-ordinate the portfolio of research and deliver all of the research elements led by ASH Scotland. She has spent the last 10 years involved in research in the illicit drugs field. Her main research interests have included research into interventions aimed at reducing drug deaths. Previous work has involved mapping public injecting sites and collaboration in a Hepatitis C Prevalence Study. Most recently April was involved in a collaborative European study looking at the health and social care needs of older drug users.
Dr Rachel O’Donnell is the Policy and Research Manager at ASH Scotland. She leads the development of new evidence-based policy and research projects within ASH Scotland, and oversees work including the Big Lottery funded REFRESH project, which aims to reduce children’s exposure to second-hand smoke in the home. Before joining ASH Scotland in 2003, Rachel worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and as a Lecturer/Research Officer at the University of Roehampton, London where she ran both undergraduate Health Psychology courses. She completed her PhD at the University of Roehampton and in conjunction with the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, researching quality of life and severe neurological disability in individuals with multiple sclerosis.