In BMJ open
INTRODUCTION : Smoking prevalence continues to be high over the world and smoking-induced diseases impose a heavy burden on the medical care system. As believed by many researchers, a promising way to promote healthcare and well-being at low cost for the large vulnerable smoking population is through eHealth solutions by providing self-help information about smoking cessation. But in the absence of first-hand knowledge about smoking habits in daily life settings, systems built on these methods often fail to deliver proactive and tailored interventions for different users and situations over time, thus resulting in low efficacy. To fill the gap, an observational study has been developed on the theme of objective and non-biased monitoring of smoking habits in a longitudinal and ambulatory mode. This paper presents the study protocol. The primary objective of the study is to reveal the contextual and physiological pattern of different smoking behaviours using wearable sensors and mobile phones. The secondary objectives are to (1) analyse cue factors and contextual situations of smoking events; (2) describe smoking types with regard to users' characteristics and (3) compare smoking types between and within subjects.
METHODS AND ANALYSES : This is an observational study aimed at reaching 100 participants. Inclusion criteria are adults aged between 18 and 65 years, current smoker and office worker. The primary outcome is a collection of a diverse and inclusive data set representing the daily smoking habits of the general smoking population from similar social context. Data analysation will revolve around our primary and secondary objectives. First, linear regression and linear mixed model will be used to estimate whether a factor or pattern have consistent (p value<0.05) correlation with smoking. Furthermore, multivariate multilevel analysis will be used to examine the influence of smokers' characteristics (sex, age, education, socioeconomic status, nicotine dependence, attitudes towards smoking, quit attempts, etc), contextual factors, and physical and emotional statuses on their smoking habits. Most recent machine learning techniques will also be explored to combine heterogeneous data for classification of smoking events and prediction of craving.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION : The study was designed together by an interdisciplinary group of researchers, including psychologist, psychiatrist, engineer and user involvement coordinator. The protocol was reviewed and approved by the ethical review board of UZ Leuven on 18 April 2016, with an approval number S60078. The study will allow us to characterise the types of smokers and triggering events. These findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed articles.
Zhai Donghui, Schiavone Giuseppina, Van Diest Ilse, Vrieze Elske, DeRaedt Walter, Van Hoof Chris
biotechnology and bioinformatics, epidemiology, protocols and guidelines, public health, rehabilitation medicine, substance misuse