User participation and engagement with the see me smoke-free mhealth app: Prospective feasibility trial

Chris A. Schmidt, James K. Romine, Melanie L. Bell, Julie Armin, Judith S. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The See Me Smoke-Free (SMSF) mobile health (mHealth) app was developed to help women quit smoking by targeting concerns about body weight, body image, and self-efficacy through cognitive behavioral techniques and guided imagery audio files addressing smoking, diet, and physical activity. A feasibility trial found associations between SMSF usage and positive treatment outcomes. This paper reports a detailed exploration of program use among eligible individuals consenting to study participation and completing the baseline survey (participants) and ineligible or nonconsenting app installers (nonparticipants), as well as the relationship between program use and treatment outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether (1) participants were more likely to set quit dates, be current smokers, and report higher levels of smoking at baseline than nonparticipants; (2) participants opened the app and listened to audio files more frequently than nonparticipants; and (3) participants with more app usage had a higher likelihood of self-reported smoking abstinence at follow up. Methods: The SMSF feasibility trial was a single arm, within-subjects, prospective cohort study with assessments at baseline and 30 and 90 days post enrollment. The SMSF app was deployed on the Google Play Store for download, and basic profile characteristics were obtained for all app installers. Additional variables were assessed for study participants. Participants were prompted to use the app daily during study participation. Crude differences in baseline characteristics between trial participants and nonparticipants were evaluated using t tests (continuous variables) and Fisher exact tests (categorical variables). Exact Poisson tests were used to assess group-level differences in mean usage rates over the full study period using aggregate Google Analytics data on participation and usage. Negative binomial regression models were used to estimate associations of app usage with participant baseline characteristics after adjustment for putative confounders. Associations between app usage and self-reported smoking abstinence were assessed using separate logistic regression models for each outcome measure. Results: Participants (n=151) were more likely than nonparticipants (n=96) to report female gender (P<.02) and smoking in the 30 days before enrollment (P<.001). Participants and nonparticipants opened the app and updated quit dates at the same average rate (rate ratio [RR] 0.98; 95% CI 0.92-1.04; P=.43), but participants started audio files (RR 1.07; 95% CI 1.00-1.13; P<.04) and completed audio files (RR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03-1.18; P<.003) at significantly higher rates than nonparticipants. Higher app usage among participants was positively associated with some smoking cessation outcomes. Conclusions: This study suggests potential efficacy of the SMSF app, as increased usage was generally associated with higher self-reported smoking abstinence. A planned randomized controlled trial will assess the SMSF app’s efficacy as an intervention tool to help women quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere142
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Diet
  • Intervention
  • MHealth
  • Mobile health
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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