Objective: The aim of this study waS to determine whether an automated e-mail messaging system that sent individually timed educational messages (ITEMs) increased the effectiveness of an INternet smoiking cessation intervention.
Design: Using two consecutive series of particiapnts, the authors compared two Web-based style smoking cessation interventions a single-poin-in-time educational intervention and an enhanced intervention that also sent ITEMs timed to participants' quit efforts. outcomes were compared in 199 participants receiving the one-time intervention and 286 receiving ITEMs.
Measurements: Demographic factors, number of cigarettes smoked, nicotine additiction, depressive symptoms, and confidence in ability to quit were measure at entry. Twenty-four-hour quit attempts and seven-day point-prevalence of abstinence (nonrespondents assumed to smoke) were measured 30 days after each subject's self-selected quit date.
Results: The one-time and ITEMs groups differed in some demographics and some relapse risk factors but not in factors associated with 30-day quit rates. ITEMs appeared to increase the rate at which individuals set quit rates (97% vs. 91%, p = 0.005) and, among the respondents to follow-up quezstionnaires (n = 145), the rate of reported 24-hour quit efforts (83% vs. 54%, p = 0.001). The 30day intent-to-treat quit rates were higher in the ITEMs group: 7.5% vs. 13.6%, p - 0.035. In mulitvariate analyses controlling for differences between groups, receiving ITEMs was associated with an increase in the odds ratio for quitting of 2.6 (95% confidence interval = 1.3-5.3).
Conclusion: ITEMs sent on strategic days in smokers' quit efforts enhanced early success with smoking cessation relative to a single-point-in-time Web intervention. The effect appears to be mediated by ITEMs' causing smokers to plan and undertake quit efforts more frequently.
Perez, John E., "Automated E-mail Messaging as a Tool for Improving Quit Rates in an Internet Smoking Cessation Intervention" (2004). Psychology. 1.