Computer-tailored smoking cessation materials: a review and discussion

Patient Educ Couns. 1999 Feb;36(2):107-17. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(98)00128-1.


Tailored smoking cessation materials combine many of the interactive, diagnostic elements of a clinical encounter with the dissemination potential of mass media. In this article, the differences between general, targeted and tailored smoking cessation materials are discussed, and the impact of tailored versus the general or targeted modalities is examined. A review of ten randomized trials of tailored materials found a significant impact of these materials in a majority of the studies. Very few patterns, in terms of the characteristics associated with the tailored materials, subject recruitment, subject characteristics, or follow-up procedures were found when comparing positive versus negative trials. The two trials that combined tailored materials with nicotine replacement therapy found a strong impact on smoking cessation; studies that examine the combined effects of tailored behavioral and pharmacological interventions are suggested. Another notable finding was the effect tailored materials had among precontemplators. Most studies that included precontemplators found a significant positive impact of materials tailored to this group. Taken together, these findings suggest important new avenues for reaching smokers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Cessation* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome