A Comprehensive Digital Program for Smoking Cessation: Assessing Feasibility in a Single-Group Cohort Study.

Research paper by Heather H Patrick, Craig A CA Fujii, Debra B DB Glaser, David S DS Utley, Jennifer D JD Marler

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: JMIR mHealth and uHealth


Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide. Evidence-based approaches are available, but few people access them. Although digital solutions offer great promise for population reach, few multicomponent programs exist. Pivot is a comprehensive digital solution combining a Food and Drug Administration-cleared carbon monoxide (CO) breath sensor; cigarette logging; a 6-phase, app-delivered smoking cessation program based on the US Clinical Practice Guidelines; and dedicated human coaching via text-based chat. The purpose of this study was to assess program engagement, changes in attitudes toward smoking, self-reported changes in smoking behavior, and program acceptability for the initial phase of Pivot: Explore. A total of 48 participants enrolled, and 41 completed the study. About half the participants (54%, 22/41) were men, and the mean age was 43 years. Most (85%, 35/41) were daily smokers and smoked an average of 12 cigarettes per day. Explore includes CO breath sensing, logging cigarettes in-app, learning via in-app activities, and dedicated human coaching through a text messaging interface. Participants completed surveys at baseline and exit assessing attitudes toward quitting including readiness, perceived difficulty, and confidence in quit success. At exit, participants also completed a survey of changes in smoking behavior and ratings of program acceptability. More than 80% of participants (34-39 of 41) took ≥1 CO breath sample each day, and more than 55% (23-27 of 41) took ≥5 samples each day. More than 65% of participants (27-34 of 41) logged ≥1 cigarette using the in-app logging feature each day. All 9 in-app activities had completion rates ≥80% (33-40 of 41). Response to coach-initiated outreach was also high, with all contacts receiving ≥73% (30-39 of 41) response. In matched pair analyses, significant positive changes in mean attitudes toward quitting (scale 1-10) were evident from baseline (T1) to study exit (T2), including increased readiness to quit (T1 mean=6.1, T2 mean=7.4, P=.005), lower perceived difficulty (T1 mean=3.7, T2 mean=5.6, P=.001), and greater expectations of success (T1 mean=4.5, T2 mean=6.5, P<.001). At exit, 78% (32/41) of participants reported decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked per day during the study. Participants rated program quality and satisfaction very high (mean ≥8 for all items). These results support the feasibility and acceptability of the initial 9-day phase of Pivot: Explore. Participants had high levels of engagement with sensing, logging, learning, and coaching. Attitudes toward quitting improved significantly, and the majority of users indicated decreasing smoking behavior. Explore was designed to raise smoker awareness and motivation. Additional research is underway to assess how users progress through the full Pivot smoking cessation program and determine the program's effectiveness for achieving sustained cessation. ©Heather Patrick, Craig A Fujii, Debra B Glaser, David S Utley, Jennifer D Marler. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 18.12.2018.