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Identifying Content-Based Engagement Patterns in a Smoking Cessation Website and Associations With User Characteristics and Cessation Outcomes: A Sequence and Cluster Analysis.


ABSTRACT:

Introduction

Using WebQuit as a case study, a smoking cessation website grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, we aimed to identify sequence clusters of content usage and examine their associations with baseline characteristics, change to a key mechanism of action, and smoking cessation.

Methods

Participants were adult smokers allocated to the WebQuit arm in a randomized controlled trial (n = 1,313). WebQuit contains theory-informed content including goal setting, self-monitoring and feedback, and values- and acceptance-based exercises. Sequence analysis was used to temporally order 30-s website usage segments for each participant. Similarities between sequences were assessed with the optimal matching distance algorithm and used as input in an agglomerative hierarchical clustering analysis. Associations between sequence clusters and baseline characteristics, acceptance of cravings at 3 months and self-reported 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 12 months were examined with linear and logistic regression.

Results

Three qualitatively different sequence clusters were identified. "Disengagers" (576/1,313) almost exclusively used the goal-setting feature. "Tryers" (375/1,313) used goal setting and two of the values- and acceptance-based components ("Be Aware," "Be Willing"). "Committers" (362/1,313) primarily used two of the values- and acceptance-based components ("Be Willing," "Be Inspired"), goal setting, and self-monitoring and feedback. Compared with Disengagers, Committers demonstrated greater increases in acceptance of cravings (p = .01) and 64% greater odds of quit success (ORadj = 1.64, 95% CI = 1.18, 2.29, p = .003).

Discussion

WebQuit users were categorized into Disengagers, Tryers, and Committers based on their qualitatively different content usage patterns. Committers saw increases in a key mechanism of action and greater odds of quit success.

Implications

This case study demonstrates how employing sequence and cluster analysis of usage data can help researchers and practitioners gain a better understanding of how users engage with a given eHealth intervention over time and use findings to test theory and/or to improve future iterations to the intervention. Future WebQuit users may benefit from being directed to the values- and acceptance-based and the self-monitoring and feedback components via reminders over the course of the program.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8186423 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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