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Attentional bias retraining in cigarette smokers attempting smoking cessation (ARTS): Study protocol for a double blind randomised controlled trial

Citation

Begh, R and Munafo, MR and Shiffman, S and Ferguson, SG and Nichols, L and Mohammed, MA and Holder, RL and Sutton, S and Aveyard, P, Attentional bias retraining in cigarette smokers attempting smoking cessation (ARTS): Study protocol for a double blind randomised controlled trial, BMC Public Health, 13 Article 1176. ISSN 1471-2458 (2013) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

DOI: doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1176

Abstract

Background: Smokers attend preferentially to cigarettes and other smoking-related cues in the environment, in what is known as an attentional bias. There is evidence that attentional bias may contribute to craving and failure to stop smoking. Attentional retraining procedures have been used in laboratory studies to train smokers to reduce attentional bias, although these procedures have not been applied in smoking cessation programmes. This trial will examine the efficacy of multiple sessions of attentional retraining on attentional bias, craving, and abstinence in smokers attempting cessation.

Methods/Design: This is a double-blind randomised controlled trial. Adult smokers attending a 7-session weekly stop smoking clinic will be randomised to either a modified visual probe task with attentional retraining or placebo training. Training will start 1 week prior to quit day and be given weekly for 5 sessions. Both groups will receive 21 mg transdermal nicotine patches for 812 weeks and withdrawal-orientated behavioural support for 7 sessions. Primary outcome measures are the change in attentional bias reaction time and urge to smoke on the Mood and Physical Symptoms Scale at 4 weeks post-quit. Secondary outcome measures include differences in withdrawal, time to first lapse and prolonged abstinence at 4 weeks post-quit, which will be biochemically validated at each clinic visit. Follow-up will take place at 8 weeks, 3 months and 6 months post-quit.

Discussion: This is the first randomised controlled trial of attentional retraining in smokers attempting cessation. This trial could provide proof of principle for a treatment aimed at a fundamental cause of addiction.

Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN54375405.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:attentional bias
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Preventive Medicine
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Substance Abuse
Author:Ferguson, SG (Associate Professor Stuart Ferguson)
ID Code:87884
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2013-12-13
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:208 View Download Statistics

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