Improving Health using Therapies 2.0 with Ubiquitous Wireless Access

Improving Health using Therapies 2.0 with Ubiquitous Wireless Access

Elsa M. Macías (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain), Alvaro Suarez (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) and Fernando Calvo (Grupo de Psicología de la Salud, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3990-4.ch050


Improved 4G communication technologies in conjunction to Web 2.0 technologies are contributing to design and implement new and exciting healthcare services for citizens that can be accessed any time and any place. Tobacco is a risk factor causing increased morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Smoking cessation is a hard challenge for several people that can be achieve with the help of Web 2.0 and wireless access technologies to multimedia information. There are a lot of basic Web 1.0 portals for smoking cessation. The authors present an overview of serious damages or even death provoked by nicotine poisoning, an overview of on-line group therapies, and their user-centric Web 2.0 Portal intended for smoking cessation. They demonstrate innovative and effective facts of their Web 2.0 portal: Wireless access, scheduled agendas, and video on-demand services.
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The first cause of avoidable morbidity and mortality in the developed world is smoking. Every day over 13,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases (WHO, 2001). In 2010, tobacco killed 6 million people, 72 percent of whom live in countries with low to middle income. If current trends continue, tobacco will kill 7 million people annually by the year 2020 and more than 8 million people by 2030 (Shafey, Eriksen, Ross & Mackay 2009). Peto and Lopez (2001) estimated that tobacco would cause around 450 million deaths over the next 50 years. By reducing the current smoking population by 50%, we would avoid between 20 and 30 million premature deaths in the first quarter-century and 150 million in the second. Peto, Lopez, Boreham and Thun (2004) studied mortality caused by the consumption of tobacco in the 25 European Union countries, considering that smokers lose on average 22 years of life, dying on average 14 years earlier than nonsmokers. Even those who die at age 70 or older are losing about 8 years of their lives.

Quitting smoking is the only way in which the morbidity and mortality associated with its consumption can be reduced to short-, medium- and long-term; and the sooner you quit, the greater the benefits (Doll, Peto, Wheatley, Gray and Sutherland, 1994; Lightwood and Glantz, 1997). If the goal is to reduce diseases linked to the consumption of tobacco in a population as quickly as possible, the fastest results will focus on reducing the proportion of adults who continue to smoke. This will alter the patterns of disease in 20-25 years (Aspect Consortium, 2004).

The scientific evidence clearly points to the following interventions as effective in helping people quit smoking: systematic minimum advice, psychological treatment (cognitive behavioral multi-component programs with relapse prevention), pharmacological treatment (nicotine replacement, bupropion), self-help procedure formats, and community programs. The results indicate increased efficacy if the cognitive behavioral treatment will be accompanied by pharmacological treatment in cases of greater addiction to nicotine (American Psychiatry Association, 1996; Anderson, Jorenby, Scott and Fiore, 2002; Becoña, 2003; Chambless, Baker, Baucom, Beutler, Calhoun et al., 1998; Chambless and Ollendick, 2001; Fiore, Bailey, Cohen, Dorfman, Godlstein, Gritz, et al, 2000; Lancaster and Stead, 1999b; Le Foll, Aubin and Lagrue, 2002; Schwartz, 1992; WHO, 2001).

Currently available smoking cessation methods appear to have hit a ceiling of effectiveness that cannot be overcome, and we are not convinced that there is anything in the literature that heralds the coming of a new approach that goes beyond what we already know. Latest results of Cochrane´s reviews on effective treatments for addiction do not differ notably from those previously provided in the Cochrane review (Stead and Lancaster, 1998; Silagy, 1999, Lancaster and Stead, 1999a; Hughes; Stead and Lancaster, 2001).

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