Document Detail

The role of peer e-mail support as part of a college smoking-cessation website.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19012841     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Helping young smokers to quit early in life substantially reduces the risk of later morbidity and mortality due to tobacco use. The RealU study demonstrated the efficacy of a smoking-cessation website for college students that incorporated both individually tailored feedback and peer e-mail support. The relationship between peer e-mail support and cessation outcomes among intervention participants is examined here. METHODS: This study was conducted at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities from Fall 2004 through Spring 2005. During the intervention period, peer-support students (E-pals) wrote weekly e-mails to intervention group participants (n=257) encouraging healthy behaviors including smoking abstinence. Ten survey items assessed perceived E-pal supportiveness. The number of e-mails replies sent by the participants to their E-pal was tracked as a measure of e-mail engagement. The primary outcome was self-reported 30-day abstinence at the end of the intervention period. RESULTS: Over the course of the intervention, participants sent an average of 4.6 (SD=3.6) e-mails to their E-pals. Perceived E-pal support was significantly correlated with e-mail engagement (p<0.001). At Week 30, 40.5% of individuals in the RealU intervention group (104/257) reported not smoking any cigarettes in the prior 30 days. Bivariate analyses indicated that 30-day abstinence was related to both perceived support from the E-pal (p<0.001) and e-mail engagement (p<0.001). Multivariate analyses indicated that after controlling for age and baseline-level smoking, e-mail engagement remained a significant predictor of 30-day abstinence (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Greater peer engagement via e-mail was associated with increased smoking abstinence and reduced frequency of smoking. These findings suggest that online peer support may be an important strategy when delivering Internet-assisted cessation programs to young adults.
Colleen Klatt; Carla J Berg; Janet L Thomas; Edward Ehlinger; Jasjit S Ahluwalia; Lawrence C An
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of preventive medicine     Volume:  35     ISSN:  1873-2607     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Prev Med     Publication Date:  2008 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-17     Completed Date:  2009-02-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8704773     Medline TA:  Am J Prev Med     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S471-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Data Collection
Electronic Mail*
Peer Group*
Program Evaluation
Smoking Cessation*
Social Support*
Young Adult
Grant Support
P50 013333//PHS HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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