The effectiveness of distance-based interventions for smoking cessation and alcohol moderation among cancer survivors: A meta-analysis

Ajla Mujcic*, Matthijs Blankers, Jeroen Bommelé, Brigitte Boon, Anne H. Berman, Irma M. Verdonck-de Leeuw, Margriet van Laar, Rutger Engels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate current evidence for the effectiveness of distance-based interventions to support smoking cessation (SC) or alcohol moderation (AM) among cancer survivors. Secondary, differences in effectiveness are explored regarding multibehaviour interventions versus single-behaviour interventions targeting SC or AM only. Methods: A systematic search of PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted. Intervention studies with and without control groups and randomized controlled trials were included. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted for the main outcomes: SC and AM rates at the follow-up closest to 6 months. Using subgroup analyses and meta-regression, effectiveness of single-behaviour versus multibehaviour interventions was evaluated. Results: A total of 17 studies with 3796 participants; nine studies on SC only, eight studies on multibehaviour interventions including an SC or AM module, and no studies on AM only were included. All studies had at least some concerns regarding bias. Distance-based SC interventions led to higher cessation rates than control conditions (10 studies, odds ratio [OR] = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.13-2.15, P =.007). Single-behaviour SC interventions reduced smoking rates compared with baseline (risk difference [RD] = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.19-0.39, P <.0001), but multibehaviour interventions did not (RD = 0.13; 95% CI, −0.05 to 0.31, P = 0.15). There was insufficient evidence that distance-based multibehaviour interventions reduced alcohol use compared with controls (three studies, standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.12; 95% CI, −0.08 to 0.31, P =.24). Conclusions: Distance-based SC interventions are effective in supporting SC among cancer survivors. Single-behaviour SC interventions appear more effective than multibehaviour interventions. No evidence was found for the effectiveness of distance-based AM interventions for cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Lauren Law for the assistance with the study selection and data extraction. The current study is supported by grant no. TBOS2014?7169 from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding). The sponsor has no role in the design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data nor in writing the article or the decision to submit for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, John Wiley and Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


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