Effectiveness of a Mobile Phone App for Adults That Uses Physical Activity as a Tool to Manage Cigarette Craving After Smoking Cessation: A Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial
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CitationHassandra Mary. Lintunen Taru. Kettunen Tarja. Vanhala Mauno. Toivonen Hanna-Mari. Kinnunen Kimmo. Heikkinen Risto. (2016). Effectiveness of a Mobile Phone App for Adults That Uses Physical Activity as a Tool to Manage Cigarette Craving After Smoking Cessation: A Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocols;, (4) , e125. 10.2196/resprot.4600.
Background: Results from studies on the effects of exercise on smoking-related variables have provided strong evidence that physical activity acutely reduces cigarette cravings. Mobile technology may provide some valuable tools to move from explanatory randomized controlled trials to pragmatic randomized controlled trials by testing the acute effectiveness of exercise on quitters under real-life conditions. An mHealth app was developed to be used as a support tool for quitters to manage their cigarette cravings.
Objective: The primary aim of this paper is to present the protocol of a study examining the effectiveness of the Physical over smoking app (Ph.o.S) by comparing the point prevalence abstinence rate of a group of users to a comparator group during a 6-month follow-up period.
Methods: After initial Web-based screening, eligible participants are recruited to attend a smoking cessation program for 3 weeks to set a quit smoking date. Fifty participants who succeed in quitting will be randomly allocated to the comparator and experimental groups. Both groups will separately have 1 more counseling session on how to manage cravings. In this fourth session, the only difference in treatment between the groups is that the experimental group will have an extra 10-15 minutes of guidance on how to use the fully automated Ph.o.S app to manage cravings during the follow-up period. Data will be collected at baseline, as well as before and after the quit day, and follow-up Web-based measures will be collected for a period of 6 months. The primary efficacy outcome is the 7-day point prevalence abstinence rate, and secondary efficacy outcomes are number of relapses and cravings, self-efficacy of being aware of craving experience, self-efficacy in managing cravings, and power of control in managing cravings.
Results: Recruitment for this project commenced in December 2014, and proceeded until May 2015. Follow-up data collection has commenced and will be completed by the end of December 2015.
Conclusions: If the Ph.o.S app is shown to be effective, the study will provide evidence for the use of the app as a support tool for people who are trying to manage cravings during smoking cessation programs. It is anticipated that the results of the study will provide knowledge of how physical activity affects cigarette craving in real-life situations and inform the development and delivery of relapse prevention in smoking cessation treatment.