Post-sexual assault cigarette smoking: Findings from a randomized clinical trial of a video-based intervention

Kate Walsh, Amanda K. Gilmore, Julie A. Schumacher, Scott F. Coffey, Patricia A. Frazier, Linda Ledray, Ron Acierno, Kenneth J. Ruggiero, Dean G. Kilpatrick, Heidi S. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sexual assault (SA) is associated with elevated risk for cigarette smoking. The current study tested whether a brief video intervention delivered in the emergency department was effective at reducing smoking following SA. Participants were 233 girls and women (age 15+) who received a SA medical forensic examination (SAMFE) and were randomized to one of three conditions: 1) Prevention of Post-Rape Stress (PPRS), a brief video designed to reduce post-SA psychopathology; 2) Pleasant Imagery and Relaxation Information (PIRI), an active control video involving relaxation training; and 3) treatment as usual (TAU). Among those who participated at baseline, 154 participants completed at least one follow-up at 1.5, 3, and 6 months after the SAMFE. Participants reported the number of days of smoking and the average number of cigarettes smoked per day in the two weeks prior to the sexual assault as well as in the two weeks prior to each follow-up. Two-thirds (68.8%) of participants smoked prior to the SA or during any follow-up. One-fifth of participants who did not smoke prior to the SA smoked at one or more follow-ups. Smoking declined on average over follow-up although TAU was associated with increased initial smoking compared to PPRS; PPRS and PIRI did not differ. SA contributes to increases in smoking and the PPRS, a brief and cost-effective video-based intervention delivered during the SAMFE, can protect against increases in post-SA smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106121
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was conducted with support from National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant DA023099 . Manuscript preparation was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants MH107641 , MH107641-02S1 , DA036213 , and T32-MH018869 . The funding sponsor had no role in study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Brief intervention
  • Emergency department
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Sexual assault
  • Smoking


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