Advanced search
Add to list

IMPERIO : using novel digital communication technologies for a personalised smoking cessation intervention

Arian Kashefi (UGent) , Peter Conradie (UGent) , Stephen Murphy (UGent) , Mariek Vanden Abeele (UGent) and Lieven De Marez (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
Tobacco use is a critical factor contributing to preventable deaths worldwide: It kills around eight million people every year, 1.2 million of which are caused by second-hand exposure (IHME, 2019). In Belgium, tobacco use accounts for over 14000 premature yearly deaths and an estimated direct cost of 615 million euros to healthcare (IHME, 2019; Lievens, 2016). These numbers illustrate the societal and economic importance of designing smoking cessation programs. These programs increasingly use digital communication technologies as a means of delivery, as these technologies allow practitioners to engage more individuals at a lower cost in technology-supported efforts to quit smoking. Although digital smoking cessation programs hold promise, research indicates that their current success rate is minimal, increasing long-term tobacco abstinence by only five percentage points (West et al., 2015). One reason for this limited effectiveness may be that these interventions mostly use one-size-fits-all communication strategies. This is in contrast with the effectiveness of personal coaching programs, which typically apply evidence-based methodologies (e.g., Transtheoretical Model) to understand individuals’ psychological factors to steer personalised intervention strategies. However, personal coaching that curates communication based on a person’s individual needs is often costly, time-intensive and demanding (Taylor et al., 2017). These limitations can potentially be overcome through digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) using conversational agents or chatbots. Digital behaviour change interventions offer many opportunities to facilitate behaviour change at a large scale including constant availability, possibility of data analysis and cost-effectiveness compared to personal coaching. However, they fail to retain engagement and show limited long-term effects due to a lack of personalisation (Zhao et al., 2016). This could be addressed by the integration of chatbots, which are software applications that simulate conversations with humans. They offer significant opportunities to achieve personalised engagement and feedback loops to elicit long-term behavioural change. Similar to human coaches, complementing digital behaviour change interventions with chatbots is expected to improve engagement (Perski et al., 2019). Current use of chatbots in DBCIs is scarce and conversations usually lack personalisation. Additionally, most DBCIs only visualise raw data and engagement is always initiated by users or based on pre-defined time intervals, therefore failing to deter users from unhealthy decisions at crucial moments. The IMPERIO project aims to address current shortcomings by developing and evaluating an effective smoking cessation intervention, delivered by a chatbot simulating a coach guiding users through personalised coaching programs based on behaviour change theories and techniques. By doing so, we step away from generic communication towards all users and focus on a catered solution, leveraging the advantages of digital communication technologies. The intervention will utilize smartphone and wearable data to gain accurate insights into the motivational profile, habits, and smoking triggers in a non-intrusive manner. These insights will be conceptually mapped within a behaviour change model such as self-determination theory (SDT) and analysed to detect patterns and correlations. Such general models can be enhanced further by complementing them with intervention-focused behaviour change frameworks like the behaviour change wheel, particularly during the development stage. In addition to the development of the intervention, this research will focus on how digital communications technologies can instil long-term behaviour change in people. Possible research questions could be how they affect aspects of SDT such as motivation or competence, how a virtual coach is perceived differently than a ‘real’ coach and how accepting users are of new behavioural change technologies in a health context, just to name a few.
Keywords
Behaviour change, conversational agents, personalisation, smoking cessation

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Kashefi, Arian, et al. “IMPERIO : Using Novel Digital Communication Technologies for a Personalised Smoking Cessation Intervention.” Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts, 2023.
APA
Kashefi, A., Conradie, P., Murphy, S., Vanden Abeele, M., & De Marez, L. (2023). IMPERIO : using novel digital communication technologies for a personalised smoking cessation intervention. Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts. Presented at the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, 25th ed., Enschede, the Netherlands.
Chicago author-date
Kashefi, Arian, Peter Conradie, Stephen Murphy, Mariek Vanden Abeele, and Lieven De Marez. 2023. “IMPERIO : Using Novel Digital Communication Technologies for a Personalised Smoking Cessation Intervention.” In Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kashefi, Arian, Peter Conradie, Stephen Murphy, Mariek Vanden Abeele, and Lieven De Marez. 2023. “IMPERIO : Using Novel Digital Communication Technologies for a Personalised Smoking Cessation Intervention.” In Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Kashefi A, Conradie P, Murphy S, Vanden Abeele M, De Marez L. IMPERIO : using novel digital communication technologies for a personalised smoking cessation intervention. In: Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts. 2023.
IEEE
[1]
A. Kashefi, P. Conradie, S. Murphy, M. Vanden Abeele, and L. De Marez, “IMPERIO : using novel digital communication technologies for a personalised smoking cessation intervention,” in Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts, Enschede, the Netherlands, 2023.
@inproceedings{01GX3JZP11BVF9WM11VEME1F31,
  abstract     = {{Tobacco use is a critical factor contributing to preventable deaths worldwide: It kills around eight million people every year, 1.2 million of which are caused by second-hand exposure (IHME, 2019). In Belgium, tobacco use accounts for over 14000 premature yearly deaths and an estimated direct cost of 615 million euros to healthcare (IHME, 2019; Lievens, 2016). These numbers illustrate the societal and economic importance of designing smoking cessation programs. These programs increasingly use digital communication technologies as a means of delivery, as these technologies allow practitioners to engage more individuals at a lower cost in technology-supported efforts to quit smoking. 

Although digital smoking cessation programs hold promise, research indicates that their current success rate is minimal, increasing long-term tobacco abstinence by only five percentage points (West et al., 2015). One reason for this limited effectiveness may be that these interventions mostly use one-size-fits-all communication strategies. This is in contrast with the effectiveness of personal coaching programs, which typically apply evidence-based methodologies (e.g., Transtheoretical Model) to understand individuals’ psychological factors to steer personalised intervention strategies. However, personal coaching that curates communication based on a person’s individual needs is often costly, time-intensive and demanding (Taylor et al., 2017). These limitations can potentially be overcome through digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) using conversational agents or chatbots.  

Digital behaviour change interventions offer many opportunities to facilitate behaviour change at a large scale including constant availability, possibility of data analysis and cost-effectiveness compared to personal coaching. However, they fail to retain engagement and show limited long-term effects due to a lack of personalisation (Zhao et al., 2016). This could be addressed by the integration of chatbots, which are software applications that simulate conversations with humans. They offer significant opportunities to achieve personalised engagement and feedback loops to elicit long-term behavioural change. Similar to human coaches, complementing digital behaviour change interventions with chatbots is expected to improve engagement (Perski et al., 2019).  

Current use of chatbots in DBCIs is scarce and conversations usually lack personalisation. Additionally, most DBCIs only visualise raw data and engagement is always initiated by users or based on pre-defined time intervals, therefore failing to deter users from unhealthy decisions at crucial moments. 

The IMPERIO project aims to address current shortcomings by developing and evaluating an effective smoking cessation intervention, delivered by a chatbot simulating a coach guiding users through personalised coaching programs based on behaviour change theories and techniques. By doing so, we step away from generic communication towards all users and focus on a catered solution, leveraging the advantages of digital communication technologies. The intervention will utilize smartphone and wearable data to gain accurate insights into the motivational profile, habits, and smoking triggers in a non-intrusive manner. These insights will be conceptually mapped within a behaviour change model such as self-determination theory (SDT) and analysed to detect patterns and correlations. Such general models can be enhanced further by complementing them with intervention-focused behaviour change frameworks like the behaviour change wheel, particularly during the development stage. 

In addition to the development of the intervention, this research will focus on how digital communications technologies can instil long-term behaviour change in people. Possible research questions could be how they affect aspects of SDT such as motivation or competence, how a virtual coach is perceived differently than a ‘real’ coach and how accepting users are of new behavioural change technologies in a health context, just to name a few.}},
  author       = {{Kashefi, Arian and Conradie, Peter and Murphy, Stephen and Vanden Abeele, Mariek and De Marez, Lieven}},
  booktitle    = {{Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2023, Abstracts}},
  keywords     = {{Behaviour change,conversational agents,personalisation,smoking cessation}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Enschede, the Netherlands}},
  title        = {{IMPERIO : using novel digital communication technologies for a personalised smoking cessation intervention}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}