208987 Patterns of use and descriptive characteristics of adolescents who used a real world one-on-one web-chat service for adolescent smoking cessation

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM

Courtney Marie Cora Jones, MPH , Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Deborah J. Ossip, PhD , University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, NY
Scott McIntosh, PhD , Community and Preventive Medicine/Social and Behavioral Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Nancy Chin, PhD , Community and Preventive Medicine/Social and Behavioral Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Andrew S. Doniger, MD, MPH , Monroe County Department of Public Health, Rochester, NY
Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH , Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Priya Banerjee, PhD , Department of Health Science, State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, NY
AnnaLynn Surace, BS , University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Kathi Johnson , Community and Preventive Medicine/Social and Behavioral Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
John Riley, BS , Metrix Marketing, Rochester, NY
Background and Purpose: Each day 4,800 U.S. adolescents begin smoking and approximately half will become adult smokers. The internet presents a novel way of offering adolescents smoking cessation services; however, little research has been conducted in this area. The purpose of this study was to describe how a large sample of adolescents used a one-on-one web chat service for adolescent smoking cessation.

Methods: A randomly selected sub-sample of chat transcripts was coded for demographic characteristics and reasons for using this service. A code manual was developed, and coders were trained to reliability. Descriptive analyses explored demographics and how chatters used this service. Illustrative statements made by chatters were also recorded.

Results: Chat transcripts (n=882) were coded with 201 transcripts selected for cross-coding to determine reliability. Inter-rater reliability reached the desired standard (Kappa > .80) for the majority of codes. Results indicate that adolescents will use a web-based chat service for smoking cessation. About half (46%) of all chatters specifically expressed a desire to quit smoking in the near future. The most common reason for using this service was advice regarding smoking cessation (50%). Other less frequent purposes included information seeking, proxy chatters, updating on progress, curiosity and prank. Additionally, there was a broad range of other topics that chatters wanted to discuss, including drugs, sexual health, and mental health.

Conclusions: Further research is needed to examine the consistency of these use patterns across web services, and to test the effectiveness of delivering adolescent smoking cessation counseling via the internet.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how a 1:1 web-chat service has the potential to reach a large number of adolescents and offer them highly individualized feedback in a manner that is appropriate to their developmental and psychosocial needs. Explain the importance of adolescent smoking cessation and how the internet is a promising modality of delivering such services to adolescents. List the reasons for using this 1:1 web-chat service among this sample of adolescents Discuss the concerns that these adolescents expressed regarding the smoking cessation experience.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked as a smoking cessation intervention specialist with the New York State Smokers Quitline. I have worked on numerous smoking cessation research studies and I have completed a graduate-level degree in public health (MPH). I am currently completing my PhD in Epidemilogy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.