Smoking rates in Aboriginal Australians are gradually reducing in some age groups, but not for people in the peak reproductive years.1 Smoking cessation is vital for cancer prevention.2 Many regional programs avoid the use of threat messages when targeting Australian Aboriginal smokers.3
To assess, for the first time, the responses of Aboriginal smokers, 18-45 years, to Risk Behaviour Diagnosis scales (RBD)4 and intentions to quit smoking, including gender differences.
We interviewed 121 Aboriginal smokers, using a structured questionnaire including adapted RBD scales. The RBD measured perceived threat (susceptibility and severity of threat) and perceived efficacy (self-efficacy and response efficacy) on Likert scales. Intentions to quit were assessed. Scales were recoded into high-low responses. Face validity was assessed via an Aboriginal panel, and scales assessed for reliability. Chi-square tests investigated the associations between intention to quit, efficacy/threat and gender.
Among men, intention to quit was associated with perceived efficacy (X2=15.23;df=1;p<0.0001), but not with perceived threat. For women, intention to quit was neither associated with efficacy nor threat. Both genders were more likely to have high intention to quit, with high efficacy and high threat (n=54;45%:maleX2=12.6;df=1;p<0.001:femaleX2=5.6;df=1;p<0.05). There was no difference in intention to quit with low efficacy-high threat for either gender (n=39;32%). In contrast, all of the men with low threat-high efficacy (n=5;4%) intended to quit, whereas all of the women with low threat-low efficacy (n=6;5%) intended to quit.
High-perceived threat was associated with high intention to quit smoking only when perceived efficacy was high. Gender differences may be a consideration. The RBD scales could be used to tailor messages to the level of efficacy and threat in clinical consultations, and in regional programs. All Aboriginal Australian smokers may benefit from increased efficacy to quit smoking.