Treating Chinese Smokers with Interactive Expert Systems

Investigator: Janice Tsoh, PhD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse

Location(s): United States


This mentored patient-oriented research will support the career development of the candidate in the area of nicotine dependence and tobacco control, particularly targeting smoking cessation efforts to the ethnic minority populations. The objective for this program is to provide training and hands-on experience in designing and conducting clinical trials, cross-cultural research and methodology, and clinical pharmacology knowledge and applications. The overall goal of this research is to design and test efficacious smoking cessation programs that can successfully treat a large minority group, Chinese American smokers. This study will transfer the interactive expert system technology in smoking cessation to Chinese American smokers and test the efficacy of the intervention using a randomized clinical trial in this population. It will also examine the effectiveness of proactive versus reactive recruitment approaches, which will guide implementation of smoking cessation intervention in this population. Participants will be randomized to either to a control condition receiving a standard self-help manual, or experimental condition receiving a stage-matched manual and 3 personalized expert-system reports over 6 months. Assessments will occur before randomization at baseline, 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. It is hypothesized that research participants receiving the experimental smoking cessation intervention will be more likely to be abstinent, report at least one quit attempt, and to significantly reduce in smoking rate (verified by continine) than those in the control condition at 12 and 18 months. The proactive recruitment approach is hypothesized to be more effective in reaching smokers who are not ready to quit smoking. Depression symptoms, negative affect, acculturation and gender differences in association with smoking behaviors and nicotine dependence in the Chinese population will be examined. Pilot work focusing on enhancing smoking intervention for this population will be conducted based on the findings of the proposed clinical trial. This research and career development program will yield significant knowledge for effectively treating Chinese American smokers, and will build a solid foundation to prepare the candidate to be an independent clinical research scientist.