A smoker's choice? Identifying the most autonomy-supportive message frame in an online computer-tailored smoking cessation intervention

Maria B. Altendorf*, Eline S. Smit, Rachid Azrout, Ciska Hoving, Julia C. M. van Weert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective To test the effect of autonomy-supportive message framing on people's perceived autonomy-support while considering the individual need for autonomy as a moderator. Also, to test whether autonomy-supportive message frames - through increased perceived autonomy-support - lead to more self-determined motivation, and increased intention to quit smoking. Design An online 2(autonomy-supportive; controlling language) x 2(choice; no choice) between-subjects design with control condition (generic advice) with adult smokers intending to quit (N = 626). Main outcome Intention to quit smoking (Theory of Planned Behaviour). Measures Perceived autonomy-support (Virtual Climate Care Questionnaire), need for autonomy (Health Causality Orientations Scale), self-determined motivation (Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire), attitudes, social influence, self-efficacy (I-Change Model). Results Structural equation modelling revealed no significant effect of autonomy-supportive-message frames on perceived autonomy-support or self-determined motivation, neither did the need for autonomy moderate these effects. Self-determined motivation had a positive, significant effect on intention to quit, mediated by attitudes, social influence, and self-efficacy. Conclusion Although message frames did not affect perceived autonomy-support or self-determined motivation, higher self-determined motivation increased intention to quit via attitudes, social influence, and self-efficacy. Before drawing the conclusion that message framing has no effect, we recommend to replicate this study in a real-life setting with smokers more likely to read and process the message frames more attentively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-574
Number of pages26
JournalPsychology & Health
Volume36
Issue number5
Early online date4 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021

Keywords

  • Web-based computer-tailoring
  • smoking cessation
  • message framing
  • autonomy-support
  • need for autonomy
  • SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • HEALTH BEHAVIOR
  • MOTIVATION
  • PROGRAM
  • COMMUNICATION
  • PREDICTORS
  • STRATEGIES

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