The effect of motivational lung age feedback on short-term quit rates in smokers seeking intensive group treatment: A randomized controlled pilot study

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Aug 1;153:271-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 18.


Background: A brief "Lung Age" feedback intervention has shown promise for personalizing the health impact of smoking and promoting cessation in unselected smokers. Now that many healthcare organizations provide face-to-face cessation services, it is reasonable to ask whether such motivational feedback of lung function tests might improve treatment compliance and cessation rates in smokers wanting to quit. This study assessed effects of baseline motivational spirometry-based "Lung Age" feedback on treatment compliance and tobacco abstinence at 28-day follow-up.

Methods: This randomized controlled pilot study took place in Penn State University-affiliated outpatient medical practices. Participants were 225 adult smokers (≥5 cigarettes/day) willing to attend tobacco dependence treatment. At assessment lung function (FEV-1) and exhaled carbon-monoxide (CO) were assessed. The Intervention group (n=120) were randomly allocated to receive motivational "Lung Age" feedback estimated by FEV-1 and on exhaled CO; Control group (n=105) received minimal feedback. Participants were offered 6 weekly group smoking cessation sessions and nicotine patches and followed-up 28 days after target quit date. The primary outcome measure was self-reported 7-day tobacco abstinence, confirmed by CO<10ppm at 28-day follow-up.

Results: Quit rates were similar at follow-up (Intervention 50.8%; Control 52.4%; p=0.65) after controlling for abstinence predictors. Group attendance and patch use were similar. Among those attending follow-up (n=164, 73%), a greater proportion of the Intervention group had improved lung function (67% vs. 46%; p=0.0083).

Conclusions: Baseline Lung Age feedback did not improve quit rates or compliance at 28-day follow-up in smokers seeking intensive treatment.

Trial registration: NCT01980485.

Keywords: Carbon-monoxide; Cessation; Dependence; FEV-1; Smoking; Spirometry; This study was registered at (identifier: NCT01980485).

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Research Design
  • Respiratory Function Tests / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
  • Young Adult


  • Carbon Monoxide

Associated data