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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Apr;62(4):360-6. doi: 10.1176/ps.62.4.pss6204_0360.

An electronic decision support system to motivate people with severe mental illnesses to quit smoking.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Concord, NH 03301, USA.



Rates of cigarette smoking are high among people with severe mental illnesses compared with the general population (45%-90% versus 20%). The authors developed a Web-based computer decision support system that is tailored for use by people with cognitive deficits and is designed to stimulate motivation to quit smoking by using evidence-based treatment.


This initial study used a quasi-experimental design to test the decision support system among a convenience sample of 41 smokers with severe mental illnesses. Researchers interviewed participants at baseline and two months later to assess for behaviors indicative of motivation to quit smoking. A negative binomial regression modeled the outcome and controlled for baseline group differences.


Participants who used the decision support system were significantly more likely to show any behavioral motivation to quit smoking (such as meet with a clinician to discuss cessation, initiate cessation treatment, or otherwise attempt to quit) (67% versus 35%; χ(2)=4.11, df=41, p=.04). Further, using the decision support system increased by a factor of 2.97, or about 300%, the expected number of ways that a participant showed motivation.


The encouraging results of this pilot study indicate that electronic decision supports may facilitate motivation to quit smoking and use of cessation treatment among people with severe mental illnesses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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