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Lessons learned from unsuccessful use of personal carbon monoxide monitors to remotely assess abstinence in a pragmatic trial of a smartphone stop smoking app – a secondary analysis

Herbec, AA; Brown, J; Shahab, L; West, R; (2019) Lessons learned from unsuccessful use of personal carbon monoxide monitors to remotely assess abstinence in a pragmatic trial of a smartphone stop smoking app – a secondary analysis. Addictive Behaviors Reports , 9 , Article 100122. 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.07.003. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Verifying abstinence remotely in trials of digital cessation interventions remains a major challenge. This study reports on using personal carbon monoxide (CO) monitors to assess abstinence in a pragmatic trial of a standalone cessation app involving automated recruitment with no researcher contact. METHODS: The study involved secondary data analysis of remote CO testing in a randomized trial (ISRCTN10548241) comparing two versions of a cessation app (BupaQuit). Trial participants were adult UK-based smokers interested in quitting, who were recruited online (02/2015–03/2016). Participants were followed-up through the app, email or phone at 4 weeks. Fifty-nine participants reporting not smoking were posted a personal CO monitor with instructions, and emailed two reminders. The monitors required installing software on a Windows PC. Participants were not reimbursed but retained the device. We recorded the proportion of CO tests returned, test results, self-reported ease of use, correct use, acceptability, and reasons for missing results. RESULTS: Fifteen (25.4%) CO results were returned, of which 86.6% were <10 ppm and 53.3% were <5 ppm, indicating abstinence (corresponding to 20.9% and 12.9% of all trial participants self-reporting abstinence, respectively). These 15 participants found the test easy, acceptable and believed they conducted it correctly. Eight (18.2%) of the missing results were accounted for, including no access to a Windows PC, barriers to receiving packages, and unwillingness to share results. CONCLUSION: Remote validation using personal CO monitors may not yet be feasible in pragmatic studies of cessation apps in which participants are recruited with no reimbursement or direct contact with researchers.

Type: Article
Title: Lessons learned from unsuccessful use of personal carbon monoxide monitors to remotely assess abstinence in a pragmatic trial of a smartphone stop smoking app – a secondary analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.07.003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2018.07.003
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Keywords: Smoking cessation, Intervention, Smartphone, App, Pilot, Carbon monoxide, Biochemical verification
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053401
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