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“Every day I think about your messages”: assessing text messaging engagement among Latino smokers in a mobile cessation program

Authors Cartujano-Barrera F, Arana-Chicas E, Ramírez-Mantilla M, Perales J, Cox LS, Ellerbeck EF, Catley D, Cupertino AP

Received 21 March 2019

Accepted for publication 8 June 2019

Published 22 July 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1213—1219


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Francisco Cartujano-Barrera,1 Evelyn Arana-Chicas,1 Mariana Ramírez-Mantilla,2 Jaime Perales,2 Lisa Sanderson Cox,2 Edward F Ellerbeck,2 Delwyn Catley,3 Ana Paula Cupertino1

1Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ, USA; 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA; 3Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA

Introduction: Mobile health interventions are a promising mode to address tobacco-related disparities among Latinos, the largest minority group and the highest users of text messaging technology. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess engagement in a smoking cessation intervention delivered via text message (Kick Buts) among Latino smokers.
Methods: We relied on a community-based recruitment strategy to enroll 20 Latino smokers in Kick Buts. Outcome measures included biochemically verified abstinence at 12 weeks, participant text messaging interactivity with the program, and satisfaction.
Results: Participants’ mean age was 40.7 years old (SD=14.6). Most of the participants were male (70%), did not have health insurance (75%), and reported low nicotine-dependence (60%). The majority of participants (75%) sent at least one text message to the program. On average, participants who interacted with the program sent 31.8 (SD=39.7) text messages. Eight themes were identified in participants’ messages (eg, well-being, self-efficacy, strategies to quit, extra-treatment social support, etc). At 12 weeks, 30% of the participants were biochemically verified as abstinent.
Conclusion: A smoking cessation text message intervention generated high engagement among Latinos and resulted in noteworthy cessation rates. Future studies should assess the relationship of text messaging interactions with psychological effects (eg, intra-treatment social support, therapeutic alliance, and perceived autonomy support).

Keywords: Latinos, smoking, smoking cessation, text messages, m-Health

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