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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Equit: A study of how smokers use electronic communication tools to help them quit smoking.
Scientific title
Randomised trial of the QuitCoach interactive personalised advice, Quit onQ text messaging program, and an integration of the two (QuitCoach onQ); tobacco dependence; smoking cessation as defined by 6-month sustained abstinence.
Secondary ID [1] 286580 0
Nil known
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
tobacco dependence 3199 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 3361 3361 0 0
Public Health 3362 3362 0 0
Health promotion/education

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
QuitCoach Internet-based interactive tailored advice designed to be used on multiple occasions; Quit onQ text messaging which sends a tailored program of 1-8 messages daily for approximately 1 month; QuitCoach onQ integrated program consisting of daily messages plus use of the QuitCoach if more comprehensive assistance is desired.
Intervention code [1] 2935 0
Comparator / control treatment
Minimal intervention control consisting of a web link to static smoking cessation resources
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 4247 0
6-month sustained abstinence from smoking, assessed by telephone interview.
Timepoint [1] 4247 0
7 months after randomisation.
Secondary outcome [1] 7179 0
Point prevalence abstinence from smoking, assessed by telephone interview.
Timepoint [1] 7179 0
7 months after randomisation.

Key inclusion criteria
Current smoker, or quit within the last week.
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
No limit
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Not using any extensive interactive computer-delivered or person-delivered cessation program, no reported condition requiring referral to an in-person service.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Central randomisation by computer
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Computerised sequence generation
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Recruitment into trial independent of offer of randomised intervention offer
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 3436 0
Government body
Name [1] 3436 0
National Health & Medical Research Council
Address [1] 3436 0
GPO Box 1421, Canberra AVT 2601
Country [1] 3436 0
Primary sponsor type
Professor Ron Borland
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Secondary sponsor category [1] 3078 0
Name [1] 3078 0
The Cancer Council Victoria
Address [1] 3078 0
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Country [1] 3078 0
Other collaborator category [1] 296 0
Name [1] 296 0
Dr James Balmford
Address [1] 296 0
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Country [1] 296 0
Other collaborator category [2] 297 0
Name [2] 297 0
Assoc Prof Steve Howard
Address [2] 297 0
Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne
Country [2] 297 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 5460 0
The Cancer Council Victoria Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 5460 0
The Cancer Council Victoria,
1 Rathdowne St Carlton VIC 3053
Ethics committee country [1] 5460 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 5460 0
Approval date [1] 5460 0
Ethics approval number [1] 5460 0
HREC 0510

Brief summary
The aim of the project is to design, implement and evaluate programs that use both Internet and telephone/communications technology to automate the provision of tailored smoking cessation assistance. In particular, the research is interested in the relative effectiveness of detailed advice (as provided through a web-based expert system) as compared with the capacity of modern messaging technology (SMS) to provide a set of prompts and reminders to help smokers manage a quit attempt and prevent relapse. The project is an innovative collaboration between a team with expertise in the development of mass-deliverable smoking cessation interventions, and a team with expertise in human-computer interaction (HCI), which is concerned with optimizing use of computing and communication technology. Using principles of HCI, smokers will be actively involved in the development of the programs through an interative process of review consisting of a series of user-based evaluations, design workshops and field trials. In this way, real-world use and acceptability of the interventions will be assessed and reviewed until we have developed the best possible prototypes. Following this process, a large-scale randomised controlled trial will be conducted to evaluate the relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of each of the interventions both individually and combined, against a control condition receiving minimal cessation assistance. It is hypothesized that all intervention programs will be more effective than minimal assistance, with the Combined program proving most effective, especially among smokers who are more addicted and/or have had no previous quit attempt lasting beyond a week.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Balmford, J. & Borland, R. (2014). How do smokers use a text messaging to quit intervention? Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16, 1586-1592.

Borland, R., Balmford, J., Benda, P. (2013). Population-level effects of automated smoking cessation help programs: a randomised controlled trial. Addiction, 108, 618-628.

Balmford, J., Borland, R., Benda, P., Howard, S. (2013). Factors associated with use of automated interventions: Findings from the eQuit study. Health Education Research, 28, 288-299.

Borland, R. & Balmford J. (2012). Population-level effects of automated cessation help programs: A randomised controlled trial. 15th World Conference Tobacco or Health, Singapore, 20-24 March.

Balmford, J., Borland, R., Benda, P. (2008). Patterns of use of an automated interactive personalised coaching program for smoking cessation. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 10(5), e54.

Balmford, J., Borland, R., Benda, P., Graham, C., Howard, S. (2008). Augmenting the QuitCoach and adding messaging capacity. 9th Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 9-11 April.

Graham, C., Benda, P., Howard, S., Balmford, J., Bishop, N., Borland, R. (2006). "heh - keeps me off the smokes..": probing technology support for personal change. In Proceedings of the 20th Conference of the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (Chisig) of Australia on Computer-Human Interaction: Design: Activities, Artefacts and Environments (Sydney, Australia, November 20 - 24, 2006). OZCHI '06, vol. 206. ACM, New York, NY, 221-228.
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 28623 0
Prof Ron Borland
Address 28623 0
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Country 28623 0
Phone 28623 0
+ 61 3 9514 6291
Fax 28623 0
Email 28623 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 11780 0
Prof Ron Borland
Address 11780 0
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004
Country 11780 0
Phone 11780 0
+ 61 3 9514 6291
Fax 11780 0
Email 11780 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 2708 0
Prof Prof Ron Borland
Address 2708 0
The Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004
Country 2708 0
Phone 2708 0
+ 61 3 9514 6291
Fax 2708 0
Email 2708 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary