Using a nominal group technique to approach consensus on a resilience intervention for smoking cessation in a lower socioeconomic population

George Tsourtos, Kristen Foley, Paul Ward, Emma Miller, Carlene Wilson, Christopher Barton, Sharon Lawn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Smoking prevalence remains inequitably high for lower SES (socioeconomic status) populations. The psychosocial interactive model of resilience theorises that resilience might be 'switched on' in order to support and/or maintain smoking cessation for these populations. This study aimed to develop a Resilience Intervention for Smoking Cessation (RISC) through reviewing the extant literature around efficacious interventions for smoking cessation. Deliberative democracy principles were then used to understand lay perspectives regarding this potential smoking cessation program. Methods: Public health databases were searched to find efficacious psycho-social resilience interventions in the peer-reviewed literature for smoking cessation amongst lower SES populations. Potential components for RISC were selected based on evidence within the literature for their effectiveness. We then employed the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to create discussion and consensus on the most socially appropriate and feasible components from the perspective of smokers from low SES areas. The NGT included 16 people from a lower SES population in southern metropolitan Adelaide who indicated they were seriously contemplating quitting smoking or had recently quit. Data were collected from multiple Likert ratings and rankings of the interventions during the NGT workshop and analysed descriptively. The Wilcoxon signed-ranked test was used where appropriate. Qualitative data were collected from participant reflections and group discussion, and analysed thematically. Results: Six smoking cessation interventions, likely to enhance resilience, were selected as potential constituents for RISC: mindfulness training; setting realistic goals; support groups; smoke free environments; mobile phone apps; and motivational interviewing. Consensus indicated that mindfulness training and setting realistic goals were the most acceptable resilience enhancing interventions, based on perceived usefulness and feasibility. Conclusions: This research applied principles from deliberative democracy in order to illuminate lay knowledge regarding an appropriate and acceptable smoking cessation resilience program for a lower SES population. This process of collaborative and complex knowledge-generation is critically important to confront inequities as an ongoing challenge in public health, such as smoking cessation for disadvantaged groups. Further research should involve development and trial of this resilience program.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1577
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Consensus
  • Lower SES populations
  • Nominal group technique
  • Resilience intervention
  • Smoking cessation


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