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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 4 (2002) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4641

Title: Smoking Cessation and the Internet: A Qualitative Method Examining Online Consumer Behavior
Authors: Frisby, Genevieve
Bessell, Tracey L
Borland, Ron
Anderson, Jeremy N
Keywords: Original Paper
smoking cessation
health behavior
health promotion
Issue Date: 22-Nov-2002
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Genevieve Frisby, Tracey L Bessell, Ron Borland, Jeremy N Anderson. Smoking Cessation and the Internet: A Qualitative Method Examining Online Consumer Behavior. J Med Internet Res 2002;4(2):e8 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2002/2/e8/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2002/2/e8/ ] Background: Smoking is a major preventable cause of disease and disability around the world. Smoking cessation support — including information, discussion groups, cognitive behavioral treatment, and self-help materials — can be delivered via the Internet. There is limited information about the reasons and methods consumers access smoking cessation information on the Internet. Objectives: This study aims to determine the feasibility of a method to examine the online behavior of consumers seeking smoking cessation resources. In particular, we sought to identify the reasons and methods consumers use to access and assess the quality of these resources. Methods: Thirteen participants were recruited via the state-based Quit® smoking cessation campaign, operated by the Victorian Cancer Council, in December 2001. Online behavior was evaluated using semi-structured interviews and Internet simulations where participants sought smoking cessation information and addressed set-case scenarios. Online interaction was tracked through pervasive logging with specialist software. Results: Thirteen semi-structured interviews and 4 Internet simulations were conducted in January 2002. Participants sought online smoking cessation resources for reasons of convenience, timeliness, and anonymity — and because their current information needs were unmet. They employed simple search strategies and could not always find information in an efficient manner. Participants employed several different strategies to assess the quality of online health resources. Conclusions: Consumer online behavior can be studied using a combination of survey, observation, and online surveillance. However, further qualitative and observational research is required to harness the full potential of the Internet to deliver public health resources.
Description: Reviewer: Skinner, H.A
Reviewer: Koehler, C
Reviewer: Hargittai, E
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4641
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.4.2.e8
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 4 (2002)

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