Effectiveness of a video-based smoking cessation intervention in China

6 October, 2020

This new paper in PLoS Medicine finds that videos incorporating information on the adverse effects of secondhand smoke on maternal and child health are effective in helping expectant fathers to quit smoking.

This begs the question: Across all areas of health, is video fulfilling its full potential with regards to health education and information? Do you use video in your work for this purpose? For example, are you invoved in producing such videos, or do you recommend them to you patients or display them in your clinic?

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CITATION: Effectiveness of a video-based smoking cessation intervention focusing on maternal and child health in promoting quitting among expectant fathers in China: A randomized controlled trial

Wei Xia,Ho Cheung William Li, Wenzhi Cai,Peige Song,Xiaoyu Zhou,Ka Wai Katherine Lam,Laurie Long Kwan Ho,Ankie Tan Cheung,Yuanhui Luo,Chunxian Zeng,Ka Yan Ho

Published: September 29, 2020https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003355

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1...

AUTHOR SUMMARY

1. Why was this study done?

- Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause adverse pregnancy and childbirth outcomes and negatively affect maternal and child health.

- Video has been used in multiple types of behavioral interventions, but there is a paucity of evidence on its effectiveness in changing addictive behaviors such as smoking.

- The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a video-based smoking cessation intervention focusing on maternal and child health in promoting quitting among expectant fathers.

2. What did the researchers do and find?

- A total of 1,023 smoking expectant fathers were randomly allocated to a video-based, text, or control group.

- Participants received four 1-minute videos (video group) or 4 text messages (text group) on the risks of smoking for maternal and child health via instant messaging every 2 weeks or a leaflet on smoking cessation (control group).

- At 6-month follow-up, participants who received the videos or texts had higher rates of validated abstinence than the controls. The video-based intervention was more effective than the text-based intervention.

3. What do these findings mean?

- This trial provides evidence that videos incorporating information on the adverse effects of secondhand smoke on maternal and child health are effective in helping expectant fathers to quit smoking.

- Using instant messaging to deliver smoking cessation videos is feasible and acceptable to participants.

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org