[Continuous individual support of smoking cessation in socially deprived young adults via mobile phones--results of a pilot study].

Author(s): 
Publication Date: 
Jul 28, 2008

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of an intervention using text messaging (SMS) for continuous, individual support of smoking cessation.

METHODS: Ninety-three socially deprived young adults were screened for smoking status and usage of text messaging in an institution for occupational rehabilitation. People who reported smoking daily and using text messaging at least weekly were invited to participate in a 12-week, SMS-based intervention. Individualised SMS-feedbacks were sent to the participants weekly, based on data from the baseline assessment and the weekly SMS assessment of the intention to quit smoking. Additionally, the participants could request SMS support whenever they suffered from withdrawal symptoms or craving. The intervention was based on the transtheoretical model of behaviour change (TTM). All of the 35 persons who met the inclusion criteria for the study registered for study participation; post-assessments were obtained from 33 participants.

RESULTS: The average participant answered 8 of the 12 weekly SMS questions. The SMS-based questions and -feedbacks were evaluated as self-explanatory by the participants. At post-assessment, five participants (15%) reported occasional instead of daily smoking. None of the participants reported abstinence after the intervention. Pre-post comparisons revealed a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked per day as well as in the heaviness of smoking and an increase in risk perception. No significant differences were found for situational urge to smoke and intention to change.

CONCLUSION: The intervention proved to be feasible in a sample of socially deprived young adults, and was well accepted. The first results concerning its effectiveness are promising. The examination of this approach within a controlled study seems reasonable.