There is some evidence both on the usefulness of exercise for quit smoking and the motivating effect on Social Networks of successful people trying to quit smoking over people who are in the same process. Therefore an intervention based on adherence to physical activity with ICT support (App Gamification, Facebook and SMS) may provide a valuable aid in smoking cessation. In addition, craving is one key component that has been shown to vary over time during a smoking-cessation attempt and be highly related to treatment efficacy and cessation success. It is well documented though that craving does decrease over the first 2 weeks of a quit attempt. However, it may be that smokers are initially able to cope with negative affect using limited alternate coping strategies, but over time, the ability to use such strategies, or the effectiveness of such strategies, may diminish, leaving smokers with less and less ability to resist the urge to smoke.
Understanding the influence and application that have both social networks and mobile technologies in individual behavior as the decision of smoking is essential to determine the best use of them in the means of prevention and treatment of the future. Additionally, on the basis of previous studies of members of our consortium we hypothesize that an increase in adherence to physical activity in a 20% can increase the number of people who quit smoking in a 25%.
The objective of the So-Lo-Mo intervention is be twofold. First of all, the So-Lo-Mo intervention focuses on distracting the user by delivering a number of tasks through a mobile app. Taking into consideration the understanding of craving during smoking cessation attempts and based on the user’s profile, So-Lo-Mo asks the user to undertake some short-term or long-term tasks. The short-term tasks rely on specific physical exercise activities (utilizing the smartphone’s accelerometer), gamification, socialization, goal assignment and achievements list, etc. The long-term tasks are represented by physical exercise. A cohort of physical exercises have been designed and developed (utilizing the smartphone’s accelerometer) in order to be easily and anytime accessible by the user. An indicative example would be the hiking in Google Street view which AUTH has already developed be means of HTML5 technology.
In addition, the So-Lo-Mo intervention prevents possible risks of developing internet or game addiction by emphasizing the physical exercise activities the user is called to execute. The physical exercises force the user to set the mobile device aside and focus on an activity that does not include the device while at the same time it delivers non-mobile-device related reward. This process has been proposed as a therapeutic intervention regarding smartphone addiction, and has been empirically tested to effectively treat both physical symptoms of internet addiction at first and mental problems in the next step. Therefore, it becomes evident that the inclusion of the physical exercise module in the So-Lo-Mo intervention will efficiently prevent the possibility that a user develops internet or game addiction.
The availability of the intervention to people who do not have access to the Internet such as people unemployed or living in poverty is crucial for LMICs. Therefore, So-Lo-Mo incorporates provisions for offline functionality similar to the Offline Web Applications methodology. In this case, encouragin messages supporting the smoke cessation process is supported by an SMS gateway. Besides this, measures for providing the intervention to this population will be explored in the relevant Health Economics/Scalability solutions section.
The “Libre de humos” app -Smokefree in English- is a smoking cessation app developed by Salumedia in collaboration with the Servicio Andaluz de Salud -Andalusian Health Service-, the University of Seville, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and the Northern Greece Neurofeedback Centre. This app was built upon the best practices found in the scientific literature, the most common features in the most successful commercial smoking cessation apps, and with direct feedback from both patients and healthcare professionals. The app synchronizes with the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital Electronic Health Record, so that patients’
Profiles are automatically loaded, and their activity is recorded and monitored by specialists from the smoking cessation unit at the hospital through the SmokeFreeBrain clinical station.
The app provides patients with tailored motivational messages to support a healthy lifestyle throughout their smoking cessation process: physical activity recommendations, diet tips, general motivation messages, benefits of being a non-smoker, etc.. It also has engaging features such as a visualization dashboard where the progress of the goals accomplishment related to health benefits is displayed, a relaxing tool, an activity tracker synchronized with Google Fit, minigames to distract patients during cravings, and relevant scientific contents about smoking cessation, among other features.
The 3M4Chan (Mobile Motivational Messages for Change) intervention is conducted in Taiwan, under the SmokeFreeBrain Project. Participants are enrolled at the Taipei Medical University Hospital and Wellcome Clinic in Taipei, Taiwan.
Smoking, has serious health effects and smokers are in need of some strong motivation in the process of quitting smoking, along with the usual medications and care. In this intervention, motivational messages are sent to the user’s mobile app with an intention to help the user remain Smokefree through encouragement, optimism and engagement. The participants are required to download the mobile application, along with the usual care. They are further compared with those not using the app, and the smoking cessation rates, will be measured through their breath carbon monoxide levels and urine cotinine levels, at two, four and six months follow-up from enrolment.
Download the mobile application here