Feasibility of promoting smoking cessation among methadone users using multimedia computer-assisted education

Joseph Finkelstein, Oleg Lapshin, Eunme Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence of smoking is very high among methadone users. As a method of delivering health education, computers can be utilized effectively. However computer-assisted education in methadone users has not been evaluated systematically. Objective: This study was aimed at assessing feasibility and patient acceptance of an interactive educational module of a multi-component smoking cessation counseling computer program for former illicit drug users treated in an outpatient methadone clinic. Methods: The computer-mediated education for hazards of smoking utilized in this study was driven by major constructs of adult learning theories. The program interface was tailored to individuals with minimal computer experience and was implemented on a touch screen tablet PC. The number of consecutive methadone-treated current smokers enrolled in the study was 35. After providing socio-demographic and smoking profiles, the patients were asked to use the educational program for 40 minutes. The impact of the computer-mediated education was assessed by administering a pre- and post-intervention Hazards of Smoking Knowledge Survey (HSKS). An attitudinal survey and semi-structured qualitative interview were used after the educational session to assess the opinions of participants about their educational experience. Results: The computer-mediated education resulted in significant increase of HSKS scores from 60.5 ± 16.3 to 70.4 ± 11.7 with t value 3.69 and P < .001. The majority of the patients (78.8%) felt the tablet PC was easy to use, and most of the patients (91.4%) rated the educational experience as good or excellent. After controlling for patient baseline characteristics, the effect of computer-mediated education remained statistically significant. Conclusions: Computer-assisted education using tablet PCs was feasible, well-accepted, and an effective means of providing hazards of smoking education among methadone users.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Patient education
  • Smoking cessation


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