Remote vs in-person group-based smoking cessation interventions: smokers characteristics and intervention outcomes
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University of Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Carmela Martínez Vispo   

University of Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A57
During the last decade Telemedicine has experienced a prominent growth, providing new opportunities to address physical and mental health problems, including smoking cessation. Using technology such as interactive videoconferencing, to provide smoking cessation treatments could increase the probability that smokers who are reluctant or experience barriers to seeking in-person smoking cessation treatments can access effective interventions.

The aim of this study is twofold: 1) to examine the differences in the characteristics of smokers seeking in-person vs. remote interventions; and 2) to compare abstinence rates between both groups.

The sample consisted of 641 daily smokers who sought psychological treatment to quit smoking at the Smoking and Addictive Disorders Unit of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) from 2015 to 2022. Of the total sample, 43.4% received an in-person cognitive-behavioral intervention to quit, while 56.6% received the same intervention remotely through videoconference.

Smokers assisting to the remote intervention had university studies (54.3% vs 39.9%; p < 0.001) and were actively working (67.5% vs 57%; p = 0.007) in a higher proportion, compared to those receiving the in-person format. Regarding mental health, a significantly higher proportion of smokers receiving the remote intervention reported depression treatment history (53.2% vs 42.8%; p = 0.009). Concerning smoking cessation outcomes, no significant differences were found in abstinence percentages between the in-person vs remote intervention at the end of treatment (59.7% vs. 65.3%, respectively; p = 0.148); and at 3-month follow-up (34.2% vs. 39.4%, respectively, p = 0.311).

Using videoconference systems shows promising results, as abstinence outcomes were similar to the conventional delivery format for smoking cessation interventions. Findings suggest that remote interventions could reduce access barriers as travel costs or time availability of potential users. Further research is warranted.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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