Skip to main content
Web-based smoking cessation intervention that transitions from inpatient to outpatient: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Quantitative Health Sciences Publications and Presentations
  • Kathleen F. Harrington, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Julie A. McDougal, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Maria Pisu, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Bin Zhang, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Rajani S. Sadasivam, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Thomas K. Houston, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • William C. Bailey, University of Alabama at Birmingham
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Publication Date
Document Type
Clinical Protocols; Smoking Cessation; Internet; Hospitalization

BACKGROUND: E-health tools are a new mechanism to expand patient care, allowing supplemental resources to usual care, including enhanced patient-provider communication. These applications to smoking cessation have not yet been tested in a hospitalized patient sample. This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a tailored web-based and e-message smoking cessation program for current smokers that, upon hospital discharge, transitions the patient to continue a quit attempt when home (Decide2Quit).

DESIGN: A randomized two-arm follow-up design will test the effectiveness of an evidence- and theoretically-based smoking cessation program designed for post-hospitalization.

METHODS: 1488 patients aged 19 or older, who smoked cigarettes in the previous 30 days, are being recruited from 27 patient care areas of a large urban university hospital. Study eligible hospitalized patients receiving tobacco cessation usual care are offered study referral. Trained hospital staff assist the 744 patients who are being randomized to the intervention arm with registration and orientation to the intervention website. This e-mail and web-based program offers tailored messages as well as education, self-assessment and planning aids, and social support to promote tobacco use cessation. Condition-blind study staff assess participants for tobacco use history and behaviors, tobacco use costs-related information, co-morbidities and psychosocial factors at 0, 3, 6, and 12 months. The primary outcome is self-reported 30-day tobacco abstinence at 6 months follow-up. Secondary outcomes include 7-day point prevalence quit rates at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up, 30-day point prevalence quit rates at 3 and 12 months, biologically confirmed tobacco abstinence at 6-months follow-up, and multiple point-prevalence quit rates based on self-reported tobacco abstinence rates at each follow-up time period. Health care utilization and quality of life are assessed at baseline, and 6 and 12 months follow-up to measure program cost-effectiveness from the hospital, health care payer, patient, and societal perspectives.

DISCUSSION: Given the impact of tobacco use on medical resources, establishing feasible, cost-effective methods for reducing tobacco use is imperative. Given the minimal hospital staff burden and the automated transition to a post-hospitalization tailored intervention, this program could be an easily disseminated approach.

Trial Registration: Current Intervention Trial NCT01277250.

  • UMCCTS funding
Rights and Permissions

Publisher PDF posted as allowed by the publisher's open access charter at

DOI of Published Version
Trials. 2012 Aug 1;13(1):123. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-123. Link to article on publisher's site
PubMed ID
Related Resources
Link to article in PubMed
Citation Information
Kathleen F. Harrington, Julie A. McDougal, Maria Pisu, Bin Zhang, et al.. "Web-based smoking cessation intervention that transitions from inpatient to outpatient: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial" Vol. 13 Iss. 1 (2012) ISSN: 1745-6215
Available at: