Comparing Internet Assistance for Smoking Cessation: 13-Month Follow-Up of a Six-Arm Randomized Controlled Trial

National Cancer Information Center, American Cancer Society, Austin, Texas 78727, USA.
Journal of Medical Internet Research (Impact Factor: 3.43). 02/2008; 10(5):e45. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1008
Source: PubMed


Although many smokers seek Internet-based cessation assistance, few studies have experimentally evaluated long-term cessation rates among cigarette smokers who receive Internet assistance in quitting.
The purpose of this study is to describe long-term smoking cessation rates associated with 6 different Internet-based cessation services and the variation among them, to test the hypothesis that interactive and tailored Internet services yield higher long-term quit rates than more static Web-posted assistance, and to explore the possible effects of level of site utilization and a self-reported indicator of depression on long-term cessation rates.
In 2004-05, a link was placed on the American Cancer Society (ACS) website for smokers who wanted help in quitting via the Internet. The link led smokers to the QuitLink study website, where they could answer eligibility questions, provide informed consent, and complete the baseline survey. Enrolled participants were randomly assigned to receive emailed access to one of five tailored interactive sites provided by cooperating research partners or to a targeted, minimally interactive ACS site with text, photographs, and graphics providing stage-based quitting advice and peer modeling.
6451 of the visitors met eligibility requirements and completed consent procedures and the baseline survey. All of these smokers were randomly assigned to one of the six experimental groups. Follow-up surveys done online and via telephone interviews at approximately 13 months after randomization yielded 2468 respondents (38%) and found no significant overall quit rate differences among those assigned to the different websites (P = .15). At baseline, 1961 participants (30%) reported an indicator of depression. Post hoc analyses found that this group had significantly lower 13-month quit rates than those who did not report the indicator (all enrolled, 8% vs 12%, P < .001; followed only, 25% vs 31%, P = .003). When the 4490 participants (70%) who did not report an indicator of depression at baseline were separated for analysis, the more interactive, tailored sites, as a whole, were associated with higher quitting rates than the less interactive ACS site: 13% vs 10% (P = .04) among 4490 enrolled and 32% vs 26% (P = .06) among 1798 followed.
These findings show that Internet assistance is attractive and potentially cost-effective and suggest that tailored, interactive websites may help cigarette smokers who do not report an indicator of depression at baseline to quit and maintain cessation.

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    • "These interventions are expected to be cost effective due to limited recurring and maintenance cost, especially keeping in mind the large consumer base. Although a limited number of studies have commented on the cost-effectiveness of WBIs for management of tobacco use, the findings are suggestive of substantial lower cost of offering such services.[1729] "
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    ABSTRACT: Web based interventions (WBIs) have been developed for various health conditions. These include interventions for various psychoactive substance use disorders including tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco use has remained the single largest preventable cause of global mortality and morbidity for many years. It is responsible for around 6 million deaths annually world-wide. Ironically, most of the tobacco users reside in resource poor low and middle-income countries. The article reviews the existing literature on WBIs for management of tobacco use. The literature search was performed using MedLine, PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Cochrane Review for relevant English language articles published from 1998 up to 2013. There is limited support for effectiveness of WBIs for managing tobacco use among adolescents. Although most of the trials among adults found WBIs to be more effective at short term follow-up (a few days to weeks), the benefits failed to extend beyond 3 months in most of the studies. All but one interventions studied in a randomized controlled trial is for smoking forms.
    Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine 07/2014; 36(3):226-35. DOI:10.4103/0253-7176.135367
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    • "Assessments occur at baseline, at 3 months, and at 9 months, with 30-day self-reported point prevalence abstinence at 9 months as the primary outcome. Self-reported smoking status is a commonly accepted outcome measure in web-based cessation trials [14,16,18,19,22,23,70]. Biochemical verification of abstinence is not feasible on a national sample enrolled through the internet. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Reducing smoking prevalence is a public health priority that can save more lives and money than almost any other known preventive intervention. Internet interventions have the potential for enormous public health impact given their broad reach and effectiveness. However, most users engage only minimally with even the best designed websites, diminishing their impact due to an insufficient ‘dose’. Two approaches to improve adherence to Internet cessation programs are integrating smokers into an online social network and providing free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Active participation in online communities is associated with higher rates of cessation. Integrating smokers into an online social network can increase support and may also increase utilization of cessation tools and NRT. Removing barriers to NRT may increase uptake and adherence, and may also increase use of online cessation tools as smokers look for information and support while quitting. The combination of both strategies may exert the most powerful effects on adherence compared to either strategy alone. Methods/Design This study compares the efficacy of a smoking cessation website (WEB) alone and in conjunction with free NRT and a social network (SN) protocol designed to integrate participants into the online community. Using a 2 (SN, no SN) x 2 (NRT, no NRT) randomized, controlled factorial design with repeated measures at baseline, 3 months, and 9 months, this study will recruit N = 4,000 new members of an internet cessation program and randomize them to: 1) WEB, 2) WEB + SN, 3) WEB + NRT, or 4) WEB + SN + NRT. Hypotheses are that all interventions will outperform WEB and that WEB + SN + NRT will outperform WEB + NRT and WEB + SN on 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 9 months. Exploratory analyses will examine theory-driven hypotheses about the mediators and moderators of outcome. Discussion Addressing adherence in internet cessation programs is critical and timely to leverage their potential public health impact. This study is innovative in its use of a social network approach to improve behavioral and pharmacological treatment utilization to improve cessation. This approach is significant for reducing tobacco’s devastating disease burden and for optimizing behavior change in other arenas where adherence is just as critical. Trial registration ISRCTN:ISRCTN45127327
    Trials 02/2013; 14(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-14-48 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "These interventions, however, still require the investment of professionals' time. Fully automated interventions may be less effective for each user but still valuable from a societal perspective as they can provide a basic level of care for people around the world who lack access to other resources and are scalable at a level unmatched by guided techniques (Muñ oz, 2010; but see also Rabius et al. (2008) and Graham et al. (2011)). "
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    ABSTRACT: To address health problems that have a major impact on global health requires research designs that go beyond randomized controlled trials. One such design, the participant preference trial, provides additional information in an ecologically valid manner, once intervention efficacy has been demonstrated. The current study presents illustrative data from a participant preference trial of an internet-based smoking cessation intervention. Participants (N=7763) from 124 countries accessed the intervention and were allowed to choose from nine different site components to aid their quit attempt. Of consenting participants, 36.7% completed at least one follow-up assessment. Individuals with depression were more likely to choose a mood management module and participants who smoked a higher number of cigarettes were more likely to choose a cigarette counter and a Nicotine Replacement Therapy guide. Furthermore, depressed participants selecting the mood management component were more likely to report at least one successful 7 day quit (37.2% vs. 22.2%) in the 12 months following the intervention. Thus, participants with depressive symptoms appear to make choices on the basis of their needs and to benefit from these decisions. This suggests that providing the ability to customize previously validated resources may be a successful way to widely disseminate interventions.
    09/2012; 205(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.08.030
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