Introduction: Most smokers see a physician each year, but few use any assistance when they try to quit. Text messaging programs improve smoking cessation in community and school settings; however, their efficacy in a primary care setting is unclear. The current trial assesses the feasibility and preliminary clinical outcomes of text messaging and mailed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) among smokers in primary care.
Methods: In this single-center pilot randomized trial, eligible smokers in primary care are offered brief advice by phone and randomly assigned to one of four interventions: (1) Brief advice only, (2) text messages targeted to primary care patients and tailored to quit readiness, (3) a 2-week supply of nicotine patches and/or lozenges (NRT), and (4) both text messaging and NRT. Randomization is stratified by practice and intention to quit. The text messages (up to 5/day) encourage those not ready to quit to practice a quit attempt, assist those with a quit date through a quit attempt, and promote NRT use. The 2-week supply of NRT is mailed to patients' homes.
Results: Feasibility outcomes include recruitment rates, study retention, and treatment adherence. Clinical outcomes are assessed at 1, 2, 6, and 12-weeks post-enrollment. The primary outcome is ≥1self-reported quit attempt(s). Secondary clinical outcomes include self-reported past 7- and 30-day abstinence, days not smoked, NRT adherence, and exhaled carbon monoxide.
Conclusions: This pilot assesses text messaging plus NRT, as a proactively offered intervention for smoking cessation support in smokers receiving primary care and will inform full-scale randomized trial planning.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT03174158.
Keywords: Mobile health; Nicotine replacement therapy; Primary care; Smoking cessation; Text messaging.
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