Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Smartphone-Delivered Daily Brief Mindfulness Practice for Young Adult Smokers Uninterested in Quitting
Background: Research on smoking cessation interventions mainly targets smokers interested in quitting, but this ignores a large percentage of smokers who are not currently ready to quit. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of smartphone-delivered brief mindfulness practice on smoking, affect, readiness to quit, and mindfulness in a sample of smokers uninterested in smoking cessation. Methods: Twenty-six college student smokers who were not currently ready to quit were randomized to receive either a brief mindfulness intervention plus ecological momentary assessment (EMA) (n = 16) or EMA only (n = 12). Participants in the mindfulness condition were prompted to practice mindfulness while all participants were prompted to complete an EMA report on affect, stress, and smoking behaviors using a smartphone four times a day for three weeks. Results: Non-significant findings from regression analyses and minuscule effect sizes (ƒ2 ≤ 0.019) revealed practically no effects of the mindfulness intervention, compared to EMA only condition, on smoking, negative affect, readiness to quit, or mindfulness at 3-week follow-up, contrary to our prediction. Moreover, the mindfulness group showed significant increases in anxiety (d = 0.62), no change in depressive symptoms, and decreases in positive affect (d = 0.22) while the control group reported decreases in anxiety (d = 0.49), significant decreases in depressive symptoms (d = 0.70), and increased positive affect (d = 0.18) from baseline to 3-week follow-up. Conclusion: Smartphone-delivered brief mindfulness practice neither increased mindfulness nor demonstrated the expected benefits among smokers with no current intention to quit. In fact, the mindfulness group may have experienced some negative impact on affect and clinical symptoms. Further research exploring various delivery methods as well as identifying sub-populations who benefit most from the intervention is needed.
McClain, Lauren, "Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Smartphone-Delivered Daily Brief Mindfulness Practice for Young Adult Smokers Uninterested in Quitting" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10621370.