Intended for healthcare professionals


Smoking by parents of asthmatic children

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 04 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:644

Sensitive counselling may still be worth while

  1. John Kemm, consultant in public health medicine (
  1. Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5EZ
  2. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY

    EDITOR—Reducing exposure of asthmatic children to parental smoking is important, but without more information the paper by Irvine et al provides no foundation for evidence based practice.1 The reader can safely conclude that something made no difference but is given no useful description of what that something was. The paper supplies only two of the five elements that Windsor et al suggest as an adequate description of an intervention—namely, counselling content, theoretical framework from which methods are derived, duration of each patient contact, frequency of intervention components, and training of intervention counsellors.2 It is sad that journals which take commendable steps to ensure that the outcomes are adequately reported still do not apply similar standards to the reporting of the intervention.3

    A further cause for concern is the context of the study. What was the nature of the families' consent? If …

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