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Smoking cessation with smartphone applications (SWAPP): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial


Lüscher, Janina; Berli, Corina; Schwaninger, Philipp; Scholz, Urte (2019). Smoking cessation with smartphone applications (SWAPP): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 19(1):1400.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoking remains one of the biggest public health threats. Smartphone apps offer new promising opportunities for supporting smoking cessation in real-time. The social context of smokers has, however, been neglected in smartphone apps promoting smoking cessation. This randomized controlled trial investigates the effectiveness of a smartphone app in which smokers quit smoking with the help of a social network member.

METHODS: This protocol describes the design of a single-blind, two-arm, parallel-group, intensive longitudinal randomized controlled trial. Participants of this study are adult smokers who smoke at least one cigarette per day and intend to quit smoking at a self-set quit date. Blocking as means of group-balanced randomization is used to allocate participants to intervention or control conditions. Both intervention and control group use a smartphone-compatible device for measuring their daily smoking behavior objectively via exhaled carbon monoxide. In addition, the intervention group is instructed to use the SmokeFree Buddy app, a multicomponent app that also facilitates smoking-cessation specific social support from a buddy over a smartphone application. All participants fill out a baseline diary for three consecutive days and are invited to the lab for a background assessment. They subsequently participate in an end-of-day diary phase from 7 days before and until 20 days after a self-set quit date. Six months after the self-set quit date a follow-up diary for three consecutive days takes place. The primary outcome measures are daily self-reported and objectively-assessed smoking abstinence and secondary outcome measures are daily self-reported number of cigarettes smoked.

DISCUSSION: This is the first study examining the effectiveness of a smoking cessation mobile intervention using the SmokeFree Buddy app compared to a control group in a real-life setting around a self-set quit date using a portable objective measure to assess smoking abstinence. Opportunities and challenges with running studies with smoking participants and certain design-related decisions are discussed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was prospectively registered on 04/04/2018 at ISRCTNregistry: ISRCTN11154315 .

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoking remains one of the biggest public health threats. Smartphone apps offer new promising opportunities for supporting smoking cessation in real-time. The social context of smokers has, however, been neglected in smartphone apps promoting smoking cessation. This randomized controlled trial investigates the effectiveness of a smartphone app in which smokers quit smoking with the help of a social network member.

METHODS: This protocol describes the design of a single-blind, two-arm, parallel-group, intensive longitudinal randomized controlled trial. Participants of this study are adult smokers who smoke at least one cigarette per day and intend to quit smoking at a self-set quit date. Blocking as means of group-balanced randomization is used to allocate participants to intervention or control conditions. Both intervention and control group use a smartphone-compatible device for measuring their daily smoking behavior objectively via exhaled carbon monoxide. In addition, the intervention group is instructed to use the SmokeFree Buddy app, a multicomponent app that also facilitates smoking-cessation specific social support from a buddy over a smartphone application. All participants fill out a baseline diary for three consecutive days and are invited to the lab for a background assessment. They subsequently participate in an end-of-day diary phase from 7 days before and until 20 days after a self-set quit date. Six months after the self-set quit date a follow-up diary for three consecutive days takes place. The primary outcome measures are daily self-reported and objectively-assessed smoking abstinence and secondary outcome measures are daily self-reported number of cigarettes smoked.

DISCUSSION: This is the first study examining the effectiveness of a smoking cessation mobile intervention using the SmokeFree Buddy app compared to a control group in a real-life setting around a self-set quit date using a portable objective measure to assess smoking abstinence. Opportunities and challenges with running studies with smoking participants and certain design-related decisions are discussed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was prospectively registered on 04/04/2018 at ISRCTNregistry: ISRCTN11154315 .

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:29 October 2019
Deposited On:18 Dec 2019 10:10
Last Modified:18 Dec 2019 10:11
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7723-z
PubMed ID:31664959

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