Adolescents’ use of nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation: Predictors of compliance trajectories


Rationale Previous research has shown limited efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) among adolescents and generally low compliance rates. As higher compliance rates are associated with improved abstinence rates, the present study examined predictors of NRT compliance. Objectives This study aims to test whether different NRT compliance trajectories can be distinguished among adolescents, to test whether these trajectories can be predicted by demographic, smoking-related, and personality factors, and to examine abstinence rates for each trajectory. Methods Data were used from a randomized controlled trial that tested the efficacy of nicotine patches versus placebo patches among 265 Dutch adolescents. During NRT treatment, adolescents filled out six online questionnaires in which they reported on the number of days they used the patches. Predictors (i.e., demographic and smoking-related factors and personality characteristics) and end-of-treatment abstinence were also administered through these self-reports. Latent class growth analysis (LCGA) was used to analyze compliance data by classifying individuals into similar growth trajectories. Results Three compliance trajectories were found (i.e.,“compliers”(n=89),“moderate decreasers”(n=41), and “strong decreasers”(n=127)). The compliers can be characterized by higher levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness and lower levels of extraversion compared with the strong decreasers, and by higher levels of conscientiousness and education compared with the moderate decreasers. Amongthe compliers, a substantially higher percentage of adolescents achieved abstinence at end-of-treatment (10 %) compared with the moderate decreasers (3 %) and the strong decreasers(6 %). Conclusions These findings could be the starting point for person-tailored interventions that aim to enhance NRT compliance rates among adolescents.

Psychopharmacology, 8, 1743-1752