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. One hundred thirty-eight subjects enrolled, and 134 completed the study.
Intervention: Positively Smoke Free on the Web (PSFW), an 8-session, 7-week targeted tobacco treatment program for PLWH, was compared with 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, 7-day point prevalence abstinence 3 months after intervention.
Results: PSFW subjects logged into a mean of 5.5 of 8 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 Web site were associated with Web site usage. Ten percent of the PSFW group vs. 4.3% of controls achieved the abstinence end point. 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.