Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Background: Men continue to smoke cigarettes in greater numbers than women. There is growing evidence for the value of developing targeted, men-centered health promotion programs. However, few smoking cessation interventions have been designed for men. A gender-specific website, QuitNow Men, was developed based on focus group interview findings, stakeholder feedback, and evidence-based cessation strategies. The website was designed to incorporate a masculine look and feel through the use of images, direct language, and interactive content. Usability experts and end-users provided feedback on navigation and functionality of the website prior to pilot testing. Objectives: The objectives of the pilot study were to describe (1) men’s use and evaluations of the interactive resources and information on the QuitNow Men website, and (2) the potential of QuitNow Men to engage men in reducing and quitting smoking. Methods: A one-group, pretest-posttest study design was used. Men who were interested in quitting were recruited and invited to use the website over a 6-month period. Data were collected via online questionnaires at baseline, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up. A total of 117 men completed the baseline survey. Over half of those (67/117, 57.3%) completed both follow-up surveys. Results: At baseline, participants (N=117) had been smoking for an average of 24 years (SD 12.1) and smoked on average 15 cigarettes a day (SD 7.4). The majority had not previously used a quit smoking website (103/117, 88.0%) or websites focused on men’s health (105/117, 89.7%). At the 6-month follow-up, the majority of men used the QuitNow Men website at least once (64/67, 96%). Among the 64 users, 29 (43%) reported using the website more than 6 times. The men using QuitNow Men agreed or strongly agreed that the website was easy to use (51/64, 80%), the design and images were appealing (42/64, 66%), they intended to continue to use the website (42/64, 66%), and that they would recommend QuitNow Men to others who wanted to quit (46/64, 72%). Participants reported using an average of 8.76 (SD 4.08) of the 15 resources available on the website. At 6-month follow-up, 16 of the 67 participants (24%) had quit, 27 (40%) had reduced their smoking and 24 (36%) had not changed their smoking habits. Repeated measures general linear model showed a significant decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked between the 3-month and 6-month follow-up (F1,63=6.41, P=.01, eta squared=0.09). Number of resources used on the website, quit confidence, nicotine dependence and age significantly predicted number of quit attempts by those still smoking at 6 months (F4,45=2.73, P=.04), with number of resources used being the strongest predictor (P=.02). Conclusions: The results of this research support efforts to integrate gender-sensitive approaches in smoking cessation interventions and indicate that this novel Web-based resource has potential in supporting men’s smoking cessation efforts.

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Notes

©Joan L Bottorff, John L Oliffe, Gayl Sarbit, Paul Sharp, Cristina M Caperchione, Leanne M Currie, Jonathan Schmid, Martha H Mackay, Sean Stolp. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 20.04.2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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