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Feasibility and acceptability of remote procedures to study tobacco product use and respiratory health: an observational study

HumanInsight Feasibility and acceptability of remote procedures to study tobacco product use and respiratory health: an observational study

BMJ Open. 2022 Dec 1;12(12):e065962. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065962.


OBJECTIVE: Obtaining ecologically valid biological samples is critical for understanding respiratory effects of tobacco use, but can be burdensome. In two diverse samples, we examined feasibility and acceptability of studying pulmonary function and respiratory health entirely remotely.

DESIGN: Observational feasibility and acceptability study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Adults age 18-25 (Biomedical Respiratory Effects Associated through Habitual Use of E-Cigarettes [BREATHE] Study) and 21-65 (Adult IQOS Respiratory [AIRS] Study) recruited from previous research studies and advertisements in Southern California, USA (BREATHE (AIRS): N=77 (N=31) completed baseline, n=64 (n=20) completed feasibility and acceptability measures). Shared inclusion criteria for the two studies were ownership of a smartphone, willingness to download applications and English fluency. In addition, BREATHE participants reported one of three tobacco use patterns. AIRS participants smoked daily and were willing to use a heated tobacco product. Exclusion criteria were medical contraindications.

INTERVENTIONS: A 4-week study consisted of five virtual study visits, twice daily ecological momentary assessment diaries and spirometry assessments, and weekly Nasal Epithelial Lining Fluid and saliva collection. All study visits were conducted via video conference; study materials and biospecimens were exchanged via mail. Participants reported feasibility and acceptability of daily diaries, breath tests, biospecimen collection and shipments.

MEASURES: Surveys assessed perceptions of timing and overall experience of daily diaries and breath tests, difficulty of and overall experience with biospecimen collection, and experience sending and receiving shipments.

RESULTS: Most participants evaluated daily diaries and breath tests as manageable (62.5%-95.0%) and likeable (54.7%-70.0%). Breath tests were frequently described as 'interesting' (55.0%-57.8%) and 'easy' (25.0%-48.4%). Most participants reported that biospecimen collection was easy (50.0%-85.0%), and that shipments were easy to send (87.5%-95.0%), receive (95.3%-95.0%) and schedule (56.3%-60.0%). No participants received shipments in poor condition.

CONCLUSIONS: Remote research procedures may be feasible and acceptable to facilitate tobacco research studies, potentially resulting in more diverse samples of participants and more generalisable research results.

PMID:36456013 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065962

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