Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a web-based tobacco treatment for persons living with HIV (PLWH).
Design: Prospective, randomized controlled trial.
Setting: HIV-care center in the Bronx, New York.
Subjects: Eligibility criteria included HIV infection, current tobacco usage, interest in quitting, and access to a computer with internet. 138 subjects enrolled, and 134 completed the study.
Intervention: Positively Smoke Free on the Web (PSFW), an eight session, seven week targeted tobacco treatment program for PLWH, was compared to standard care (brief advice to quit and self-help brochure). All subjects were offered nicotine patches.
Main outcome measures: The main feasibility outcomes were number of sessions logged into, number of web pages visited, number of interactive clicks, and total time logged in. The main efficacy outcome was biochemically verified, seven-day point-prevalence abstinence three months post-intervention.
Results: PSFW subjects logged into a mean of 5.5 of eight sessions and 26.2 of 41 pages. They executed a mean of 10 interactive clicks during a mean total of 59.8 minutes logged in. Most required reminder phone calls to complete the sessions. Educational level, anxiety score, and home access of the website were associated with website usage. 10.1% of the PSFW group vs. 4.3% of controls achieved the abstinence endpoint. Among those who completed all 8 sessions, 17.9% were abstinent, and among women completers 30.8% were abstinent.
Conclusions: Web-based treatment is a feasible strategy for PLWH smokers, and preliminary findings suggest therapeutic efficacy.
(C) 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins