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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1562-1571; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041562
Article

Stages of Change, Smoking Behaviour and Readiness to Quit in a Large Sample of Indigenous Australians Living in Eight Remote North Queensland Communities

1,* , 2,†
, 3,†
, 4,†
, 5,†
 and 1,†
1 Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, South Australia 2 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia 3 Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia 4 School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4810, Australia 5 Wuchopperen Health Service, Atherton, Queensland 4883, Australia These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 3 April 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 16 April 2013
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Abstract

Tobacco smoking is a major health issue for Indigenous Australians, however there are few interventions with demonstrated efficacy in this population. The Transtheoretical Model may provide a useful framework for describing smoking behaviour and assessing readiness to quit, with the aim of developing better interventions. Interviews were conducted with 593 Indigenous Australians in eight rural and remote communities in north Queensland, to examine stages of change and smoking behaviour. Among current smokers, 39.6% and 43.4% were in Precontemplation and Contemplation stages respectively. A further 13.9% were making preparations to quit (Preparation) whilst only 3.2% said they were actively trying to quit (Action). When analysed by stage of change, the pattern of smoking-related behaviours conformed to the results of past research using the model. Importantly however, distribution of individuals across the stages opposes those observed in investigations of smoking behaviour in non-Indigenous Australian populations. The Transtheoretical Model can be used to meaningfully classify Indigenous smokers in remote north Queensland according to stages along the behaviour change continuum. Importantly, in this large sample across eight communities, most Indigenous smokers were not making preparations to change their smoking behaviour. This suggests that interventions should focus on promoting movement toward the Preparation and Action stages of change.
Keywords: Indigenous Australians; smoking; stages of change Indigenous Australians; smoking; stages of change
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Campbell, S.; Bohanna, I.; Swinbourne, A.; Cadet-James, Y.; McKeown, D.; McDermott, R. Stages of Change, Smoking Behaviour and Readiness to Quit in a Large Sample of Indigenous Australians Living in Eight Remote North Queensland Communities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1562-1571.

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