Higher Engagement With Chat-Based Smoking Intervention Boosts Abstinence Rates

Engagement with mobile chat-based intervention associated with higher abstinence rates at three and six months

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 5, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Higher levels of engagement with a chat-based smoking cessation intervention are associated with greater biochemically validated tobacco abstinence at three and six months, according to a study published online June 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Yajie Li, from the School of Nursing at the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of a cluster randomized clinical trial involving 624 cigarette smokers receiving chat-based smoking cessation support via mobile instant messaging for three months.

The researchers identified four distinct engagement trajectories: a low engagement group (71.6 percent), in which participants maintained very low engagement throughout; rapid-declining group (13.8 percent), in which participants began with moderate engagement and rapidly decreased to a low level; gradual-declining group (9.3 percent), in which participants had high initial engagement that gradually decreased to a moderate level; and high engagement group (5.3 percent), in which participants maintained high engagement throughout. The six-month validated abstinence rates were significantly higher in the rapid-declining group (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 3.30), gradual-declining group (aRR, 5.17), and high engagement group (aRR, 4.98) compared with the low engagement group. For three-month validated abstinence, the corresponding aRRs were 4.03, 5.25, and 9.23. 

“Improving engagement with digital interventions may increase intervention benefits,” the authors write.

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