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Has the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak influenced the uptake of a popular smoking cessation app in UK smokers? An interrupted time series analysis

Perski, O; Herbeć, A; Shahab, L; Brown, J; (2020) Has the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak influenced the uptake of a popular smoking cessation app in UK smokers? An interrupted time series analysis. JMIR mHealth and uHealth , 8 (6) , Article e19494. 10.2196/19494. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak may motivate smokers to attempt to stop in greater numbers. However, given the temporary closure of UK stop smoking services and vape shops, smokers attempting to quit may instead seek out digital support, such as websites and smartphone apps. / Objective: We examined, using an interrupted time series approach, whether the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has been associated with a step change or increasing trend in UK downloads of an otherwise popular smoking cessation app, Smoke Free. / Methods: Data were from daily and non-daily adult smokers in the UK who had downloaded the Smoke Free app between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020 (primary analysis) and 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2020 (secondary analysis). The outcome variable was the number of downloads aggregated at the 12-hourly (primary analysis) or daily level (secondary analysis). The explanatory variable was the start of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, operationalised as 1 March 2020 (primary analysis) and 15 January 2020 (secondary analysis). Generalised Additive Mixed Models adjusted for relevant covariates were fitted. / Results: Data were collected on 45,105 (primary analysis) and 119,881 (secondary analysis) users. In both analyses, there was no evidence for a step change or increasing trend in downloads attributable to the start of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Calculation of Bayes Factors (BFs) indicated that the data for the primary analysis favoured the null hypothesis compared with large associations (BF for level = 0.25; BF for slope = 0.26) but were insensitive to detection of small associations (BF for level = 0.78; BF for slope = 1.35). / Conclusions: In the UK, between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020, and between 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2020, there was no evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has been associated with a large step change or increasing trend in downloads of a popular smoking cessation app. Findings on the association of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak with a small step change or increasing trend were inconclusive. Clinical Trial: osf.io/zan2s

Type: Article
Title: Has the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak influenced the uptake of a popular smoking cessation app in UK smokers? An interrupted time series analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2196/19494
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2196/19494
Language: English
Additional information: ©Olga Perski, Aleksandra Herbeć, Lion Shahab, Jamie Brown. Originally published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 11.06.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://mhealth.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; smoking cessation; mobile health; smartphone app; time series analysis; smoking; public health; app
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/10098968
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