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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-
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.
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