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VIP smoking cessation intervention for adults with serious mental illness

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Heather Leutwyler,
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 29) Grant #: T29IP0235 Award: $495,156
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract
The majority of people with serious mental illness (SMI) smoke cigarettes. They are heavier smokers, have more severe withdrawal symptoms, lower quit rates, poorer health and die about 25 years earlier than those without SMI. Smoking is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for early death and disability in the SMI population. Even though their motivation to quit smoking is high, their success rate is poor due to limited access to effective cessation treatment. Current programs for smokers with SMI include a combination of counseling and medications. Adding physical activity to the smoking cessation program may help with cessation but there is not enough research evidence to support this approach yet. Our team has data from several studies that suggest the use of a videogame-based physical activity program is an accessible and effective method to improve mental health, increase physical activity, decrease social isolation, and improve health among people with SMI. One strategy to improve smoking cessation outcomes is to provide treatments that help with cessation concerns (e.g., anxiety, cravings) while improving health outcomes. In this proposed study in a sample of 60 adults with SMI, we will: 1) Examine the feasibility and acceptability of a smoking cessation intervention that includes: a) VIP intervention: videogame-based physical activity intervention (50 minutes, 3X/week for 12 weeks) b) pharmacotherapy (bupropion), and c) smoking cessation counseling; 2) Estimate the efficacy of the VIP intervention group compared to the control group (CG) (sedentary video games, pharmacotherapy, and smoking cessation counseling) by smoking reduction, days of non-smoking, and 7-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence at 6 and 12 weeks; and 3) Determine whether participants in the VIP group have greater reduction in number and severity of psychiatric symptoms compared to controls.