Evaluating the Feasibility of a Gender-Sensitized Smoking Cessation Program for Fathers


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Abstract

Dads in Gear (DIG) is a novel 8-week, gender-sensitized smoking cessation program targeting fathers. The purpose of this study was to use the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to evaluate the DIG program. Using a prospective, noncomparative design, DIG was implemented in 5 communities by trained male facilitators. Data were collected using (a) records from participating organizations, (b) participant questionnaires, pre- (T0) and postprogram (T1) and 3-month follow-up (T2), and (c) semistructured weekly telephone interviews with DIG facilitators. In terms of reach, although challenges were encountered in recruiting participants, 21 fathers completed the DIG program. Effectiveness and individual maintenance data show participation in DIG supported improved cessation outcomes (based on intention to treat, 32.3% were abstinent at T1 and 35.5% at T2) as well as significant increases in fathering self-efficacy. Adoption was influenced by strong interest in offering programs to fathers, and availability of suitable meeting space and experienced male facilitators. Implementation data indicated high fidelity to the DIG program was achieved, along with efforts to accommodate participant preferences and setting constraints. Maintenance of the DIG program was precluded by the availability of financial resources within the organizations. The DIG program, delivered by trained male facilitators, was successful in engaging the intended population and supporting fathers’ smoking cessation. Identifying alternative ways to attract fathers to the DIG program and support program sustainability are needed. DIG is a gender-sensitized program with a promising approach to engage fathers in smoking cessation and support both men’s health and family health.

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