Background: Established in 2015, the Korea Disease Preventive Services Task Force provides evidence-based guidance on public health topics.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of mass media interventions for changing smoking behavior through a systematic review.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using English databases, as well as seven domestic databases, up to September, 2015. The primary outcome was change in smoking behavior, such as smoking prevalence change or cessation rate. Cessation attempts, amount of cigarette use, smoking intention, and attitude/knowledge for smoking were included as secondary outcomes. Data was synthesized quantitatively or qualitatively depending on the type of extracted data. For the quantitative approach, data were pooled separately according to study design and definition of outcomes.
Results: Fifty-one studies were finally selected for this review. Characteristics of the included studies varied not only in study design and settings, but also in characteristics of patients and interventions. In three controlled before-and-after studies, the odds ratio (OR) of smoking prevalence after exposure to interventions was significantly lower than before the exposure (OR 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77 to 0.94), but there was significant heterogeneity between these studies (I2 = 75%). With regard to smoking cessation success rate, seven comparative studies were pooled and showed that mass media campaigns were associated with a higher success rate compared with no intervention (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.24 to 5.46), but also reported statistically significant heterogeneity between the studies (I2 = 76%). In our qualitative review, 22 of 27 studies (81%) reported that mass media interventions were associated with increasing smoking prevention or reducing smoking prevalence.
Conclusions: Mass media interventions may produce a reduction in tobacco use. Well-designed comparative trials are needed to validate our finding.
*This study was supported by Korea Center for Disease Prevention and the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency in Korea (NS15-003).