Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Although most smokers indicate interest in quitting, only 6% quit each year. Mindfulness-based interventions show promise for improving smoking cessation;however, underlying mechanisms are unclear. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research on mindfulness and smoking cessation in underserved populations (i.e., members of racial/ethnic minority groups and individuals with low socioeconomic status [SES]), who often have greater difficulty quitting smoking and experience profound tobacco-related health disparities. Mobile health technology ("mHealth") is revolutionizing healthcare and might be used to elucidate mechanisms underlying mindfulness and enhance mindfulness-based interventions for smoking cessation. Claire Adams, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Catholic University of America (CUA), is seeking five years of support through the K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award for training and research related to mindfulness, mHealth, advanced statistics, and health disparities research. Dr. Adams'overarching career goals are to inform, develop, evaluate, and disseminate mindfulness- based interventions to promote smoking cessation, prevent cancer and other chronic diseases, and enhance well-being in diverse populations. Through the proposed training plan, Dr. Adams will expand her knowledge and skills with regard to mindfulness, smoking cessation, and health disparities research. In order to fill important gaps in her experience thus far, she will gain specialized training related to mHealth and the advanced statistics necessary for analyzing multi-level and longitudinal data. Dr. Adams will work with her mentoring team (led by Dr. David Wetter and comprising experts in fields of psychology, engineering, public health, and biostatistics) to complete formal coursework, specialized workshops, and directed readings. Primary research aims are to: 1) utilize advanced statistics and mHealth technology to determine mechanisms through which mindfulness influences smoking cessation, and 2) design and test the feasibility of a mHealth-enhanced mindfulness-based intervention for smoking cessation. Toward the first aim, Dr. Adams will learn and apply advanced multilevel modeling techniques to determine mechanisms underlying mindfulness and smoking cessation in three existing datasets that include diverse samples of smokers. Toward the second aim, Dr. Adams will work with her mentoring team to develop and test the feasibility of a mindfulness-based smoking cessation treatment that is supplemented by between-session text messaging. This program aims to deliver personalized intervention to participants in their natural environments and in the moments when they might benefit most. Findings from this feasibility study will inform and provide pilot data for an R01 application of a larger randomized controlled trial. Dr. Adams will conduct the proposed work at CUA, which will provide space, time, equipment, and other resources for research and training. The proposed research will be the first known to use mobile technology to examine mechanisms underlying mindfulness and smoking, as well as the first known study to use text messaging to enhance mindfulness- based smoking cessation. Furthermore, all proposed studies will target racially/ethnically diverse and low-SES populations (who are at disproportionate risk for tobacco-related health disparities and have not typically served as participants in mindfulness research). Research findings could be critical in moving forward the scientific study of mindfulness, improving patient outcomes in smoking cessation interventions, preventing cancer and other chronic diseases, and improving quality of life in diverse and underserved populations. The proposed training and research plan would launch Dr. Adams as an independent clinical scientist who conducts multidisciplinary research to inform, develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovative mindfulness- based interventions to improve health in diverse populations.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the U.S., and mindfulness-based interventions show promise for improving smoking cessation. However, the mechanisms through which mindfulness impacts smoking are poorly understood. Approaches capitalizing on mobile health technology could be critical for increasing our understanding of mindfulness and improving mindfulness-based interventions to promote smoking cessation, prevent chronic disease, and enhance quality of life in diverse populations.