The RealU: An online college life magazine to reduce cigarette use

The college years represent an opportunity to intervene to limit escalation in cigarette use and encourage early cessation. Working with the University of Minnesota's Boynton Student Health Service, the goal of this project was to test a web-based intervention to reduce cigarette smoking by UM Twin Cities undergraduates. Identified via internet health screening survey, individuals were invited to weekly wed sessions to (1) track their cigarette use, (2) take an interactive quiz to learn about their lifestyle and smoking habits, and (3) view an on-line college life magazine with general lifestyle and smoking related content. Outcomes include 7-day abstinence at weeks 6, 12, and 20 evaluation points and 30-day abstinence at week 20 (with carbon monoxide (CO) validation).

About the Speaker

Lawrence C. An, MD

Larry An, M.D., is a general internist and Associate Professor Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, where he is Co-Director of the Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR) and Scientific Director of the Cancer Survivorship Program.

Dr. An completed his medical training and internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan before completing fellowships with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program and the Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality. Dr. An has prior personal experience in the development and evaluation of efficacious personally tailored health communications programs.

As Co-Director of CHCR, he oversees an established multi-disciplinary group of behavioral scientists, computer programmers and design experts that has developed over 150 programs utilizing a wide array of technology and communication channels. Dr. An has also worked extensively in the areas of clinical guideline implementation, quality improvement and health systems change.

Dr. An is particularly interested in exploring:  (1) Use of remote monitoring and sensors to improve our understanding of patient's experiences  (2) Use of mobile health and social media applications to improve patient/caregiver communication and (3) Application of novel engineering and computer science techniques to improve personalization of health communications.