Effectiveness of a web-based self-help smoking cessation intervention: protocol of a randomised controlled trial

J. Kramer, M.C. Willemsen, B. Conijn, A.J. van Emst, S. Brunsting, H. Riper

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BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for many chronic and fatal illnesses. Stopping smoking directly reduces those risks. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a web-based interactive self-help programme for smoking cessation, known as the StopSite, by comparing it to an online self-help guide. Both interventions were based on cognitive-behavioural and self-control principles, but the former provided exercises, feedback and interactive features such as one-to-one chatrooms and a user forum, which facilitated mutual support and experience sharing. METHODS AND DESIGN: We conducted a randomised controlled trial to compare the interactive intervention with the self-help guide. The primary outcome measure was prolonged abstinence from smoking. Secondary outcomes were point-prevalence abstinence, number of cigarettes smoked, and incidence of quit attempts reported at follow-up assessments. Follow-up assessments took place three and six months after a one-month grace period for starting the intervention after baseline. Analyses were based on intention-to-treat principles using a conservative imputation method for missing data, whereby non-responders were classified as smokers. DISCUSSION: The trial should add to the body of knowledge on the effectiveness of web-based self-help smoking cessation interventions. Effective web-based programmes can potentially help large numbers of smokers to quit, thus having a major public health impact. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN74423766
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

DA - 20090130 LA - eng JT - BMC public health


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