Objective: To assess aspirations for physical health over 18 months. To examine whether maintained importance of aspirations for physical health mediated and/or moderated the effect of an intensive intervention on long-term tobacco abstinence.
Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention based on self-determination theory or to community care, and provided data at baseline and at 18 and 30 months post-randomization.
Results: Aspirations for physical health were better maintained over 18 months among participants in the intervention (mean change=.05), relative to community care (mean change=-.13), t=2.66, p<.01. Maintained importance of aspirations for physical health partially mediated the treatment condition effects on seven-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence (z'=1.68, p<.01) and the longest number of days not smoking (z'=2.16, p<.01), and interacted with treatment condition to facilitate the longest number of days not smoking (beta=.08, p<.05).
Conclusion: Maintained importance of aspirations for physical health facilitated tobacco abstinence.
Practice implications: Smokers may benefit from discussing aspirations for physical health within autonomy-supportive interventions. Patients may benefit from discussing aspirations during counseling about therapeutic lifestyle change and medication use.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00178685.