Participants Needed for Study on Quit-Smoking Mobile Phone App

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Participants Needed for Study on Quit-Smoking Mobile Phone App

Jane Erikson
April 18, 2013

Judith Gordon, PhD, a behavioral psychologist with the department of Family and Community Medicine in the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson, is seeking participants to help test a mobile phone app designed to help people use medication to quit smoking.

Study participants will spend two hours testing the app, called RxCoach, in the department of Family and Community Medicine, and will be compensated for their time. Knowing how to use a smartphone is required. It will be a plus – but not required – for a participant to be a smoker, former smoker, and/or using the prescription drug Chantix to curb their nicotine cravings.

Gordon, a recognized leader in smoking-cessation research, is principal investigator on the study, which is funded with a National Institutes of Health Small Business Technology Transfer Grant. She is partnering with InterVision Media of Eugene, Oregon, which is programming the app.

The app is designed to remind people who are using Chantix to quit smoking to take their medication. But it is much more interactive than other reminder apps.

“It will remind you to take your medicine, and later it will ask you ‘Did you take your medicine,’” Gordon explained. “If you say ‘No,' the app will ask why, and depending on your answer, it will make specific recommendations to help you, and point you to different resources.”

For example: The smoker responds that she did not take her last dose of medicine because it is making her nauseous. Depending on the severity of the side effect, the app will suggest either ways to take the medication that reduce nausea, or it will prompt her with a one-click connection to contact her doctor and ask for a different medication.

The app also includes a one-click connection to a tobacco quit line, like the Arizona Smokers Helpline – ASHline – which is staffed with smoking-cessation coaches who can offer support and additional assistance.

The app will collect data from each study participant, which will then be analyzed to determine how helpful the app is in promoting medication adherence, and to provide insight into why people aren’t taking their medication.

“Of course, we think if it works for people who are taking smoking-cessation medication, it could work for people taking other kinds of medication as well,” she said.

People interested in participating in this research study should contact Julie Armin at 520-626-4166.

An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subjects research at the University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect the rights and welfare and participants in research.

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