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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2003 Jan-Feb;10(1):16-20.

Design and pilot evaluation of an internet smoking cessation program.

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  • 1University of California at San Diego and Section on Health Service Research, Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System, California 92161, USA.


Relatively little is known about how to use the Internet to promote health behavioral change. This article describes a multiple-contact Internet smoking cessation program with an 8-week web-based course, online tools for self-monitoring of behaviors, and computer-tailored e-mail messages timed to enrollees' quit efforts. In a pilot study in 49 smokers, we found that enrollees returned to the website a median of 2 times and completed an average of 2 of 8 educational modules. In follow-up, respondents (n = 26) rated e-mail and web components of the intervention as equally valuable (5.9 vs. 5.5 of 10, p = 0.44). While site had potentially important effects on smoking behaviors (34% of enrollees either quit smoking or had a 50% reduction in cigarette use), we were not able hold the interest of the majority of enrollees over the intervention period. Problems with the design of the site are discussed.

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