Evaluation of an Internet virtual world chat room for adolescent smoking cessation

TitleEvaluation of an Internet virtual world chat room for adolescent smoking cessation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsWoodruff, SI, Conway, TL, Edwards, CC, Elliott, SP, Crittenden, J
JournalAddictive Behaviors
PublisherElsevier Science
Place PublishedNetherlands
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0306-4603
Keywordsadolescent smoking cessation, Health Behavior, Internet, Online Social Networks, Smoking Cessation, Tobacco Smoking, Treatment Effectiveness Evaluation, Virtual Reality, virtual world chat room

The goal of this longitudinal study was to test an innovative approach to smoking cessation that might be particularly attractive to adolescent smokers. The study was a participatory research effort between academic and school partners. The intervention used an Internet-based, virtual reality world combined with motivational interviewing conducted in real-time by a smoking cessation counselor. Participants were 136 adolescent smokers recruited from high schools randomized to the intervention or a measurement-only control condition. Those who participated in the program were significantly more likely than controls to report at the immediate post-intervention assessment that they had abstained from smoking during the past week (p ≤ .01), smoked fewer days in the past week (p ≤ .001), smoked fewer cigarettes in the past week (p ≤ .01), and considered themselves a former smoke (p ≤ .05). Only the number of times quit was statistically significant at a one-year follow-up assessment (p ≤ .05). The lack of longer-term results is discussed, as are methodological challenges in conducting a cluster-randomized smoking cessation study. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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