Why are anti-smoking health-information interventions less effective among low-socioeconomic status groups? A systematic scoping review

Tim van Meurs*, Feray R. Çoban, Willem de Koster, Jeroen van der Waal, Joost Oude Groeniger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Issues: This paper identifies and synthesises explanations proposed in the literature for the (in)effectiveness of institutional anti-smoking health-information interventions (HII) among low-socioeconomic status (SES) adults in high-income countries. Approach: We searched eight databases for relevant papers from various disciplines: Studies published in English since 2009, on the effectiveness among low-SES adults of anti-smoking HIIs, aimed at changing knowledge/behaviour, and conducted by official institutions, were included. Through a scoping review, we synthesised: study design, SES indicator, intervention type, intervention source, study population, outcomes, low-SES effects, equity effects, proposed explanations and whether these were studied empirically. Key Findings: Thirty-eight studies were included in this scoping review. Seventeen suggested explanations for the (in)effectiveness of the HIIs in low-SES adults, but only nine assessed them empirically. Thematic analysis yielded six themes: message engagement, material conditions, cognition, risk perception, social environment and self-efficacy. Implications: Explanations for intervention results are not always present, and empirical evidence for explanations is often not provided. Including such explanations and testing their empirical merits in future research can provide the crucial information needed for developing more effective anti-smoking HIIs for low-SES adults. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first review to explore the explanations proposed for why anti-smoking HIIs are (in)effective among low-SES adults. It contains insights for future studies aiming to provide empirical evidence on the causes of this (in)effectiveness, and concludes that such research is yet largely missing, but crucial to the quest for more effective and equitable anti-smoking interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1205
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number5
Early online date5 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Elise Krabbendam, Maarten Engel and Wichor Bramer (Biomedical Information Specialists, Medical Library Erasmus MC) for their help with the literature search. This work was supported by the Erasmus Initiative ‘Smarter Choices for Better Health’. The study sponsor had no role in study design, writing the report or the decision to submit the report for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Drug and Alcohol Review published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.


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