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Community Partnership for Computerized Decision Support to Engage Disadvantaged Smokers into Cessation Treatment

Funding Source

Dartmouth SYNERGY

Project Period

9/1/12 - 12/31/13

Principal Investigator

Mary Brunette, MD; William Gunn, PhD

Other Project Staff

Joelle Ferron, PhD

Project Summary

Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Disadvantaged Americans (those with low educational attainment, who are unemployed, or who live at or below the U.S. federal poverty level) are much more likely to smoke and less likely to quit than others.  Many of these smokers want to quit, and cessation treatment dramatically improves their outcomes, but they do not use such treatment, due in part to misinformation about smoking and smoking cessation treatments. Our group at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center has developed a novel, web-based motivational decision support system that is designed to engage disadvantaged, mentally ill smokers into tobacco cessation treatment. In order to begin to examine whether this promising intervention can help a broader group disadvantaged smokers, we have partnered with leaders at the Concord Hospital Family Health Center, a community primary care clinic that serves disadvantaged people in central New Hampshire and a health technology intervention engineer.  The purpose of this proposal is to tailor the motivational decision support system for disadvantaged primary care patients and to pilot it among these disadvantaged smokers at the Concord Hospital Family Health Center.

Public Health Relevance

We expect this website to become part of a comprehensive web-based treatment system that will include technology-delivered interventions for the motivation, active treatment and relapse prevention stages of smoking cessation treatment.  It will include mobile and desktop components, and will be tailored for and usable by disadvantaged smokers.  Such a system could dramatically expand the reach of cessation treatment for this neglected population.