Treatment with Internet and telephone helps curb smoking

February 10, 2011

When it comes to helping patients refrain from smoking, a treatment strategy that includes both the Internet and the telephone is more successful than treatment that includes only the Internet or includes the Internet with tailored content and social support, according to the results of research published in the January 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

When it comes to helping patients refrain from smoking, a treatment strategy that includes both the Internet and the telephone is more successful than treatment that includes only the Internet or includes the Internet with tailored content and social support, according to the results of research published in the January 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Amanda L. Graham, PhD, and co-authors recruited via Google, Yahoo, MSN, and America Online U.S. adults who smoked five or more cigarettes per day. Study participants were randomly assigned to be treated via one of the three strategies. The mean age of participants was 35.9 years, and the group was 51.1% women and 86.5% white. The study’s main outcome measure was 30-day point prevalence abstinence, which was measured using intent-to-treat analysis at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after randomization.

At 18 months, the 30-day multiple point prevalence abstinence rate across all follow-up intervals was 3.5% for the Internet-only group, 4.5% for the Internet plus tailored content and social support group, and 7.7% for those whose treatment included the Internet, tailored content, social support, and telephone. The latter treatment strategy significantly outperformed the other two strategies.

Also at this point in time, 30-day single point prevalence abstinence rates were 19.0% for Internet-only treatment, 17.4% for the Internet plus tailored content and social support group, and 19.6% for those whose treatment included the Internet, tailored content, social support, and telephone, and they did not differ among the groups.