Efficacy of an SMS-based Smoking Intervention Using Message Self-authorship: A Pilot Study

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Description: Introduction: Text-message based interventions hold great potential for intervention and are increasingly feasible given advances in information technology. Aims: This pilot RCT aims to compare the efficacy of self- versus expert-authored content delivered via text-messaging for smoking cessation. Methods: Sixty-two participants aged 25-66 attended laboratory sessions pre and post 30-days of text-messaging intervention. Participants were randomized to one of two experimental conditions—self-authorship only (SA) and self-authorship with implementation intentions (SA+ii)—or active control. Participants composed 30-60 brief motivational cessation messages for use during their cessation attempt. SA+ii participants were further instructed to anticipate obstacles and form simple if-then plans to overcome them. Experimental groups received their self-authored texts during the intervention phase while control participants received expert- authored messages. Results: Overall, smoking decreased as measured by change in exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), F(1,59)=4.43, p=0.04. The SA+ii group showed slightly greater CO reduction (M=3.63, SD=5.39) than control (M=0.03, SD=5.80; t(40)=2.08, p=0.04). Self-authorship alone (M=1.97, SD=9.30) was not more effective than control. Conclusions: Self-authorship does not appear to increase efficacy. However, this pilot supports prior research indicating text-based interventions can increase smoking cessation success and may decrease psychological symptoms of withdrawal. More research is needed to identify ways to bolster intervention efficacy.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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