Accelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation in smoking cessation: No differences between active and placebo stimulation when using advanced placebo coil technology. A double-blind follow-up study

Mikellides, Georgios, Michael, Panayiota, Psalta, Lilia, Stefani, Artemis, Schuhmann, Teresa and Sack, Alexander T. (2023) Accelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation in smoking cessation: No differences between active and placebo stimulation when using advanced placebo coil technology. A double-blind follow-up study. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 23 (2). p. 100351. ISSN 2174-0852 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2022.100351

Abstract

Objective
This study aims to investigate the longer-term effects of accelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation (aiTBS) in smoking cessation and to examine whether there is a difference in outcome between active and placebo stimulation. The present study constitutes an ancillary study from a main Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) evaluating the acute effects of aiTBS in smoking reduction.

Method
A double-blind randomized control trial was conducted where 89 participants were randomly allocated to three groups (transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)&N group: active aiTBS stimulation combined with neutral videos; TMS&S group: active aiTBS stimulation combined with smoking-related videos; Placebo group: placebo stimulation combined with smoking-related videos). Nicotine dependence, tobacco craving, perceived stress and motivation to quit smoking were measured after completion of 20 aiTBS sessions and during various follow ups (post one week, post one month and post six months).

Results
Our results show that the positive effect on nicotine dependence and tobacco craving that occurred at the end of treatment lasts at least one month post treatment. This effect seems to dissipate six months post treatment. No significant differences were found between the three groups.

Conclusion
Both active and placebo stimulation were equally effective in reducing nicotine dependence and tobacco craving up to one month after the end of treatment.


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