Pilot testing of a mobile application for smoking cessation

Summary
Tobacco smoking is a major cause of premature death and disease in Malaysia. Smoking increases the risk of cancers, chronic lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases dramatically. Malaysia has spent as much as MYR2.92 billion to treat smoking related-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and ischemic heart disease every year. Of concern, 1 in 5 Malaysians are found to be current smokers and nearly half of men in the country smoke.

Tobacco control involves both preventing the introduction of new smokers and the treatment of current smokers to quit. Several strategies have been designed and implemented to assist in the latter. One area of research which is gaining importance and interest is in mobile health or mHealth. One example of this initiative is, mobile applications to assist in quitting smoking. These apps as they are known can assist in smoking cessation through behaviour modification, bibliotherapy and also advise on medication use. Although there are a number of apps available, there has not been an app to cater for the Malaysian market specifically which is backed by evidence based research in smoking cessation. It is timely that this is made available considering the urgency of this epidemic in Malaysia.

In designing and developing the application, a user centred design approach (UCD) will be applied to follow the guidelines and collect the requirements from the smoker’s perspectives. A conceptual design model will be developed which consists of strategies and intervention components to best inform smokers on the best types of smoking cessation applications which suit their characteristics. In the final stage, a computational experiment will be implemented using the prototype developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the application based on the smokers’ characteristics as mentioned earlier.

What’s Next
To pilot test the University Malaya version mobile application for smoking cessation

Project Team
YEE Hway Ann, Anne
Amirrudin KAMSIN
Amer Siddiq AMER NORDIN
Farizah HAIRI
Nur Amani Natasha TAJUDDIN
Zarwina Binti YUSOFF
Faez MURSHIDI

Funding
University of Malaya Grand Challenge (GC004B-15HTM)

Contact Person
YEE Hway Ann, Anne
Department of Psychological Medicine,
Nicotine Addiction Research Group UMCAS
Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
Email: annyee17@um.edu.my