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Editor's Correspondence
October 26, 2009

Concerns About a Meta-analysis of Computer Smoking Cessation Programs—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(19):1806-1818. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.376

In reply

We appreciate the interest of Byron and Cobb in our article and comments. As they mentioned, we acknowledged that there is clinical or methodological heterogeneity across the studies we reviewed as well as statistical heterogeneity in our meta-analysis. That is, the Web- or computer-based smoking cessation interventions included in our study were heterogeneous, reflecting the diversity of such programs in the real world. Therefore, as we recommended in the “Comment” section of our article, there is a need for more standardized, high-quality Web-based smoking cessation programs,1 which can be easily available for smokers whenever they want to use it; unfortunately, many of these programs are not available now because they were operated temporarily for the purpose of research. Again, we agree with Byron and Cobb that we do not know which components of these programs contribute to success and to what degree and how they should be delivered or to what populations. We welcome and encourage further research to explore these important details.

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