Social Quit: Effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention in cancer survivors using social networking and instant messaging

The high prevalence of smoking among cancer survivors suggests that opportunistic interventions designed for smoking patients should be evaluated and implemented, taking into account factors specifically associated with tobacco use and cancer. In fact, little or nothing is known about the characteristics of smokers or the most effective smoking cessation treatments in people with cancer. In this scenario, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can provide novel, effective, versatile, useful and highly valued solutions by users, given the lack of systematic interventions in these patients, especially after hospital discharge. The researchers believe that there is an opportunity to develop a new integrative and transversal intervention. This study will also contribute to the limited national and international literature on the subject examining ICT intervention strategies after hospital discharge.

To evaluate the effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention in cancer survivors using social networking and instant messaging.

Main Objective. To determine the long-term efficacy (52 weeks) of a multicomponent proactive treatment protocol for smoking using social networks and instant messaging in smoking cancer survivors who attended the Catalan Institute of Oncology and continued to smoke after the hospital discharge.

Secondary objectives.
1. Assess the relationship between quality of life and smoking cessation or reduction in cancer survivors.
2. Identify the predictive variables associated with success (point and/or prolonged abstinence at week 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 24 and 52) of cessation of smoking in online treatment in cancer survivors.
3. Compare the levels of motivation to stop smoking, self-efficacy, attempts to quit smoking and the likelihood of abstinence in smoking between intervention and control group.
4. Describe the use and degree of satisfaction of the use of ICT in smoking cancer survivors inn the intervention and control group.
5. Assess the feasibility of this intervention to offer it systematically from the hospital environment or cancer patients associations.

Therefore, we propose to carry out a randomized clinical trial with two groups: Intervention Group (IG) and Control Group (CG) of cancer survivors patients attended at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, using a web platform created ad hoc, a social network (Facebook) and an instant messaging system (WhatsApp) to evaluate the effectiveness of an online multicomponent treatment to quit smoking. The quality of life of smoking patients cancer survivors will be also evaluated. The IG will receive personalized material, proactive online care through participation in a private Facebook group and contact by WhatsApp with an specialist in quit smoking. The CG will receive generic material on how to quit smoking and reactive participation in a private Facebook group. 23 groups of 15 patients will be formed to facilitate the dynamics and their management.

Evaluation The main variable will be the efficacy of the intervention: continued abstinence at 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 24 and 52 week after admission to the study and point abstinence (exhaled CO concentration and self-report). Changes in quality of life (baseline, 6 and 12 month) will also be analyzed using two questionnaires: the SF-36 and the EORTC QLQ-C30.

Expected results
Obtain a 15% higher abstinence rate in the IG compared to the CG.

Duration January 2017-December 2019

The study is funded by the Instituto Carlos III with the FIS scholarship PI16 / 01766 endowed with € 38,115.00

Research Team

Antoni Baena (Principal Investigator. ICO-IDIBELL)
Laura Anton (ICO-IDIBELL)
Xavier Continente (ASPB)
Mercè Margalef (ICO-IDIBELL)
Núria Quirós (ICO-IDIBELL)
Anna Riccobene (ICO-IDIBELL)
Esteve Saltó (Generalitat de Catalunya)