Influence of Delivery Strategy on Message-Processing Mechanisms and Future Adherence to a Dutch Computer-Tailored Smoking Cessation Intervention

Maastricht University/CAPHRI, Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands. .
Journal of Medical Internet Research (Impact Factor: 3.43). 02/2013; 15(2):e28. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.2153
Source: PubMed


Smoking tobacco is one of the most preventable causes of illness and death. Web-based tailored smoking cessation interventions have shown to be effective. Although these interventions have the potential to reach a large number of smokers, they often face high attrition rates, especially among lower educated smokers. A possible reason for the high attrition rates in the latter group is that computer-tailored smoking cessation interventions may not be attractive enough as they are mainly text-based. Video-based messages might be more effective in attracting attention and stimulating comprehension in people with a lower educational level and could therefore reduce attrition rates.
The objective of the present study was to investigate whether differences exist in message-processing mechanisms (attention, comprehension, self-reference, appreciation, processing) and future adherence (intention to visit/use the website again, recommend the website to others), according to delivery strategy (video or text based messages) and educational level, to a Dutch computer-tailored smoking cessation program.
Smokers who were motivated to quit within the following 6 months and who were aged over 16 were included in the program. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (video/text CT). The sample was stratified into 2 categories: lower and higher educated participants. In total, 139 participants completed the first session of the web-based tailored intervention and were subsequently asked to fill out a questionnaire assessing message-processing mechanisms and future adherence. ANOVAs and regression analyses were conducted to investigate the differences in message-processing mechanisms and future adherence with regard to delivery strategy and education.
No interaction effects were found between delivery strategy (video vs text) and educational level on message-processing mechanisms and future adherence. Delivery strategy had no effect on future adherence and processing mechanisms. However, in both groups results indicated that lower educated participants showed higher attention (F(1,138)=3.97; P=.05) and processing levels (F(1,138)=4.58; P=.04). Results revealed also that lower educated participants were more inclined to visit the computer-tailored intervention website again (F(1,138)=4.43; P=.04).
Computer-tailored programs have the potential to positively influence lower educated groups as they might be more involved in the computer-tailored intervention than higher educated smokers. Longitudinal studies with a larger sample are needed to gain more insight into the role of delivery strategy in tailored information and to investigate whether the intention to visit the intervention website again results in the ultimate goal of behavior change.
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR3102).

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