Little is known about effective methods to recruit unmotivated smokers into cessation induction trials, the reasons unmotivated smokers agree to participate, and the impact of those reasons on study outcomes. A mixed-method approach was used to examine recruitment data from a randomized controlled cessation induction trial that enrolled 255 adult smokers with low motivation to quit. Over 15 months, 33% of smokers who inquired about the study were enrolled. Common recruitment methods included word-of-mouth, print advertisements and clinic referrals. Frequently mentioned reasons for participating included to: gain financial incentives (44.7%), learn about research or help others quit (43%), learn about smoking and risks (40%) and help with future quits (i.e. Quit Assistance, 23.9%). Separate regression models predicting study outcomes at 26 weeks indicated that smokers who said they participated for Quit Assistance reported higher motivation to quit (B 1.26) and were more likely to have made a quit attempt (OR 2.03) compared to those not mentioning this reason, when baseline characteristics were controlled. Understanding reasons for unmotivated smokers' interest in treatment can help practitioners and researchers design effective strategies to engage this population.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01188018.
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