257576 Initial Results From an Online Avatar-Based Cessation Intervention for Young Adult Smokers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Matthias Kirch, MS , The Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Lawrence C. An, MD , The Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Michele Demers, MPH , Center for Health Communications Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Shannon Considine-Dunn, MPH, MSW , Center for Health Communications Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Dennis O'Reilly , Center for Health Communications Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: Young adults (ages 18-24) have the highest rate of smoking among all age groups. Despite ambivalence about their smoking status, social forces and life changes often contribute to long-term smoking among those who start early (median duration 15-20 years). There is also limited evidence of successful programs to help individuals in this age group give up cigarettes. Methods: The RealU is a 3-group prospective randomized trial to determine the efficacy of providing individually tailored cessation messages and peer support via the internet to young adult smokers. Smokers ages 18-30 were recruited from a national panel of volunteers to participate in a 6-week program. Individuals who had smoked at least one puff in the past 30 days were randomized to either a lifestyle website, tailored health and wellness website, or tailored health and wellness website plus online peer support. Results: 1698 young adult smokers were enrolled in the trial, with a 78% follow-up rate at week 12 evaluation. Abstinence rates (30-day) were 11.29% (8.68%, 13.90%) for the control group, 23.32% (19.86%, 26.81%) for the tailored web-only group, and 30.57% (26.76%, 34.37%) for the tailored web plus peer coaching group. Conclusions: Rates of 30-day abstinence were significantly higher with the addition of tailored web content and peer coaching. Tailored online interventions have the potential to reach high numbers of young adult smokers, and could be an important resource to support early cessation in this population. (1533 words out of a total 2200 allowed).

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effectiveness of individually-tailored messages and peer support on smoking cessation behaviors among young adults.

Keywords: Smoking Cessation, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a research assistant to Dr. Larry An for the past 5 years, contributing to research in the areas of tobacco policy, workplace smoking regulations, and smoking cessation programming. My scientific interests include the population-level effects of tobacco policies and cessation programs, cost effectiveness of programs, and disparities in the outcomes for at-risk and minority populations.
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.