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Researchers from Palo Alto University Are Testing Very Brief Online Techniques to Help Individuals who Smoke Quit Smoking on Their Own.

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Palo Alto University (PAU) has announced that i4Health (PAU's Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health) is launching its first online study testing whether any of four very brief techniques is better at helping individuals who smoke quit on their own.

Individuals who smoke who have decided to quit are welcome to participate in this free online study, which has been approved by the Palo Alto University Institutional Review Board. To enter the study, use the "click here to participate" button at: https://www.i4health-pau.org/quit-smoking-on-your-own/

The founding director of i4Health, PAU Professor Ricardo F. Munoz, is interested in studying the impact of "nano" and "micro" Internet interventions on producing health changes. "Typically," he explains, "Internet health interventions involve significant amounts of time to complete. Therefore, most people who visit these sites visit them once and never return. We would like to see whether very brief interventions that require only one visit can help some people make important health changes, such as quitting smoking. Most people who smoke want to quit smoking. And most people who try to quit smoking do it on their own. So, we decided we would test four very brief methods that take 3 to 8 minutes to administer online, and study their impact on motivation to quit and confidence that one can quit, along with actual quit rates a month later."

Users will fill out a brief demographic survey to allow researchers to compare impact across particular subgroups (e.g. men vs. women), before being randomly assigned to one of the four brief online techniques. Those who leave their email address will be sent an email with a link to a follow-up questionnaire four weeks later, to determine how many actually quit smoking within a month. Participants have a choice of providing consent to have their data be used on official research reports and articles (any reports or publications based on this research will use only group data and will not identify any individual as being part of this project), or they can specify that they want to use the site but do not give consent for their data to be used in official research reports. This allows use of the site by nonsmokers or anyone who is merely curious, whether or not they want to participate in the research survey.  

Munoz joined Palo Alto University in 2012, after 35 years as a professor of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. He began work on international randomized trials via the Internet in 1998, and founded the University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital Internet World Health Research Center in 2004. He plans to recruit individuals who smoke worldwide, and is working on versions of the study in Spanish and Chinese.

For more information on this trial please contact,
Helena Ting, [email protected] 
Vice President of Community Development, Palo Alto University

SOURCE Palo Alto University

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