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Development of a Prototype Smoking Cessation Website for Smokers with Schizophrenia

Funding Source

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Center for Technology and Behavioral Health Pilot Core

Project Period

April 2012 – March 2013

Principal Investigator

Mary F. Brunette, MD

Other Project Staff

Joelle Ferron, PhD; Timothy Devitt, PhD; Jennifer Gottlieb, PhD, Armondo Rotondi, PhD (University of Pittsburgh); Douglas Ziedonis, MD (University of Massachusetts)

Project Summary

We propose to develop a prototype smoking cessation website that is tailored for smokers with schizophrenia, and then to iteratively refine the content and structure based on user-centered testing. The prototype will contain two to three modules with behavioral lessons that are based on standard behavioral treatment for smoking cessation in schizophrenia and an online support group modeled after a previously tested online family psychoeducation support group. The prototype will utilize a structure and features that allow it to be usable by people with schizophrenia, who have cognitive impairments that impede their use of typical websites. We will conduct usability testing first on office computers, then on home computers, among 12 participants with schizophrenia at a large, urban mental health center. Upon completion of this project, we will have created, tested, and refined several modules and a web-based support group. This prototype will be the basis from which we will apply for funding to build out a complete smoking cessation website for smokers with schizophrenia. Our goal is to create an effective web-based behavioral smoking cessation treatment that is accessible to and usable by all smokers with psychotic disorders.