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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2018 Aug 31;6(8):e173. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.9033.

Assessing the Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Translation of a Text-Based Mobile Smoking Cessation Program in Samoa (TXTTaofiTapaa): Pilot Study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Department of Sociology, National University of Samoa, Apia, Samoa.
National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Institute for Health Innovation and Improvement (i3), Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand.



Samoa faces a persistently high prevalence of adult tobacco use and few existing cessation support services. Mobile phones are ubiquitous and generally affordable.


This study aimed to adopt a text message (short message service, SMS) smoking cessation program designed in New Zealand (stop smoking with mobile phones, STOMP) for use in Samoa to assist national objectives in reducing the tobacco use.


Using focus groups with smokers and ex-smokers, we explored the context for tobacco use and preferences for SMS text messages. Postintervention focus groups were held after participants received SMS text messages for 1 week. Frequent face-to-face meetings with the primary partner (Ministry of Health Samoa) and key stakeholders contributed to the adaptation process. Participatory feedback and collaboration from stakeholders became an integral part of the cultural adaptation and translation of the program. Furthermore, detailed document analyses were included as part of the formal evaluation of the initiative to explore the core determinants of success in adapting the program to the Samoan cultural context.


The SMS text messages evolved remarkably following an iterative process of consultation, in situ testing, revision, and retesting to arrive at an acceptable country-specific version of the mobile smoking cessation program. The SMS text messages retained in the final set were consistent with the theory of behavioral change but reflected both linguistic and cultural nuances appropriate for Samoa. Adapting messages required simultaneous multilevel processes, including complex high-level engagement, between the team and the stakeholders, along with crafting the precise content for (character limited) messages.


Receiving cessation support messages through a mobile phone is promising and appears to be an acceptable and accessible mode of delivery for tobacco cessation, particularly in the absence of alternative support. Adapting a text-based program in Samoa requires fastidious attention to the nuances of culture, language, and sociopolitical structures in the country.


Pacific; Samoa; mHealth; mobile phone; text messages; tobacco cessation

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