Nineteen studies were included: 4 studies of adolescents (12,221 adolescents plus 36 schools) and 15 studies of adults (n=28,594). The sample size ranged from 65 to 8,352.
Adolescents (4 studies).
Two studies reported a statistically significant reduction in smoking initiation and prevalence with computer-tailored material sent to the home of the student, compared with a no treatment control The other 2 studies reported no difference between a classroom lecture and a computer intervention (1 study), or between computer-generated material appropriate to the stage of change compared with a computer intervention advising on action strategies (1 study).
Adults (15 studies).
Seven of the 15 studies in adult smokers reported a statistically significant increase in cessation with computer-based interventions at the longest follow-up compared with control.
Two studies compared computer-generated feedback and mailed advice with control and reported increased point abstinence with the intervention at 24 months.
One study reported no significant difference between a self-help manual, manual plus computer-generated feedback and both interventions plus telephone calls at 21 months in smokers who had not sought advice.
One study reported increase abstinence at 7 months with an intervention tailored to stage-of-change compared with control.
One study that reported a tailored intervention highlighting the benefits of cessation plus advice on cessation skills was superior to an intervention highlighting only one aspect.
One study reported no significant difference at 12 months between computer-tailored information and similar non-tailored information. One study reported increased cessation at 6 months in heavy smokers who received a non-tailored compared with a tailored letter.
Two of 3 studies evaluating multiple iterations of feedback reported that multiple tailored letters were more effective than single tailored letters, but one of these studies only reported increased intent-to-quit rather than actual quit rates. The third study reported no dose-related effect of the intervention.
One of 2 studies using computer-generated feedback in addition to nicotine replacements reported a significantly higher 30-day abstinence rate with the intervention; the other study reported no difference between treatment groups.
Three studies evaluated interactive computer programmes. One study of pregnant women reported no significant difference in cessation rates between an interactive computer programme and control. One study reported more attempts to quit and higher 30-day cessation rates with an enhanced intervention that included follow-up e-mails. One study reported no difference in cessation rates at 7 months between computer sessions based on stage-of-change and control.