Informed Decision Making on the Uptake of Evidence-Based Smoking Cessation Assistance by Individuals Motivated to Quit Smoking

A Needs Assessment Among Potential End Users and Experts to Inform Decision Aid Development


Evidence-based cessation assistance increases cessation rates. Activating preferences during decision making could improve effectiveness further. Decision aids (DAs) facilitate deciding by taking preferences into account. To develop effective DAs, potential end users’ (i.e., individuals motivated to quit) needs and experts’ viewpoints should be considered. Therefore, the aim of this needs assessment was: (1) To explore end users’ needs and (2) to obtain consensus among smoking cessation counsellors and scientific experts to develop a self-administered DA to support end users in choosing cessation assistance. Data was gathered via two approaches: (1) twenty semi-structured interviews with potential end users and (2) two three-round Delphi studies with 61 counsellors and 44 scientific experts. Interview data and the first Delphi rounds were analysed qualitatively, the other Delphi rounds were analysed quantitatively. Potential end users acquired information in different ways, e.g., via own experiences. Important characteristics to decide between tools varied, however effectiveness and costs were commonly reported. Experts reached consensus on 38 and 40 statements, e.g., tools should be appropriate for users’ addiction level. Although some trends emerged, due to the variation among stakeholders, a ‘one size fits all’-approach is undesirable. This heterogeneity should be considered, e.g., by enabling users to customise the DA.

European Journal of Health Communication
Thomas Gültzow
Thomas Gültzow
Assistant Professor Societal Transition & Behaviour Change

I am a passionate researcher in the field of behaviour and decision making, specialising in informed decision making, behaviour change, and the influence of digital communication and interventions.