This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States. About 40 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. People who quit smoking can reduce their risk for serious health problems and early death. Quitting smoking is hard for many people, but effective programs are available to help people who want to quit.
Decide2Quit (www.decide2quit.org) is a website that provides information and support for smokers in all stages of the quitting process. In this study, the research team wants to test website features that encourage people to sign up for Decide2Quit. The team also wants to compare two computer programs that give personalized messages about quitting smoking on the website.
Who can this research help?
Healthcare organizations and public health departments can use results from this study to improve recruiting and messages for people who want to quit smoking.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 1,200 current smokers ages 18 years and older for this study. To be eligible, people must have internet access. The team is using online ads to recruit people to use Decide2Quit.
The research team is assigning people by chance to one of two groups. Both groups can use Decide2Quit to get information and support to quit smoking. One group can also use website features to invite their family and friends to sign up for Decide2Quit. The other group only has access to the parts of the website that give information about smoking.
In addition, the research team is assigning the people in the two groups by chance to receive one of two kinds of personalized information to help them quit smoking. People receive information from either a standard messaging system or a recommender system. The standard system uses a set of rules to choose personalized messages for people based on how ready they are to quit smoking. The recommender system uses information that people provide, such as message ratings and profiles, to choose personalized messages for them.
The research team is comparing smoking behavior and website use across four groups. The groups have
- Access to website features to invite friends and family plus the standard messaging system
- Access to website features to invite friends and family plus the recommender system
- No access to the website invitation features plus the standard messaging system
- No access to the website invitation features plus the recommender system
At the start of the study and then one and six months after signing up for Decide2Quit, people complete a survey. The survey asks people if they smoked even one puff in the last seven days. For people who have quit smoking, the research team is asking if they will take a saliva test that measures tobacco use. If they agree, the team mails them the test and asks them to upload a picture of their test results. The team is comparing the number of cigarettes people smoke at the start of the study and the number they smoke six months after signing up on the website.
The research team is tracking how often people use Decide2Quit. The team is also looking at the time it takes to recruit participants and the number of African Americans enrolled in each group.
People who smoke are working with the research team to help guide the study.