The Methodological Quality and Effectiveness of Technology-Based Smoking Cessation Interventions for Disadvantaged Groups: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research
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AIMS: To assess the methodological quality and effectiveness of technology-based smoking cessation interventions in disadvantaged groups. METHOD: Four databases (EMBASE, Cochrane, Medline, and PsycInfo) were searched for studies conducted from 1980- May 2016. Randomised controlled trials that compared a behavioural smoking cessation intervention delivered primarily through a technology-based platform (e.g. mobile phone) with a no-intervention comparison group among disadvantaged smokers were included. Three reviewers assessed all relevant studies for inclusion, and one reviewer extracted study, participant and intervention-level data, with a subset crosschecked by a second reviewer. RESULTS: Thirteen studies targeting disadvantaged smokers (n =4820) were included. Only one study scored highly in terms of methodological rigour on EPOC criteria for judging risk of bias. Of the 13 studies using a technology-based platform, most utilised websites (n = 5) or computer programs (n = 5), and seven additionally offered nicotine replacement therapy. Technology-based interventions increased the odds of smoking cessation for disadvantaged groups at 1-month (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.10, 2.63), 3-months (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.07, 1.59), 6-months (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.03, 1.62), and 18-months post-intervention (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.11, 3.01). CONCLUSIONS: Few methodologically rigorous studies were identified. Mobile phone text-messaging, computer- and website-delivered quit support showed promise at increasing quit rates among Indigenous, psychiatric and inpatient substance use disorder patients. Further research is needed to address the role technology-based interventions have on overcoming health inequalities to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups. IMPLICATIONS: This review provides the first quantitative evidence of the effectiveness of a range of technology-based smoking cessation interventions among disadvantaged smokers, with separate estimates on the basis of intervention type, and cessation outcome measure. Providing cost-effective, easily accessible and real-time smoking cessation treatment is needed, and innovative technology-based platforms will help reach this endpoint. These interventions need to be tested in larger scale randomised controlled trial designs and target broader disadvantaged groups. Data collection beyond 6-months is also needed in order to establish the efficacy of these intervention approaches on long-term cessation rates among disadvantaged population groups.