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Title: Effects of the guided body scan on cigarette cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and an exploration of distraction as the underlying mechanism
Author: Playle, Sally L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 3468
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of the guided body scan on cigarette cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms in temporarily abstinent smokers. In light of evidence that a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioural support can result in even greater success rates than either strategy alone (Stead & Lancaster, 2012), study one was the first randomised placebo-controlled trial to examine how the body scan interacts with traditional nicotine replacement therapy. Unfortunately, the magnitude of an anti-placebo effect meant that neither the nicotine nor placebo patches had an effect on ratings of withdrawal symptoms and tobacco cravings. The results did however show that the body scan produced significant post intervention reductions relative to baseline, whilst unexpectedly finding that the control audio also yielded similar levels of efficacy. This cast doubt on the theory that the body scan reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms via the promotion of non-judgemental acceptance of thoughts and feelings, although the idea that both audio interventions acted as a form of cognitive distraction seemed more plausible. The secondary aim was therefore to explore whether cognitive distraction is a mechanism underlying the efficacy of the body scan, with study three comparing a guided body scan to two distraction tasks. The results indicated that relative to baseline, all three interventions produced reductions in withdrawal symptoms up to 10 minutes post task, however the body scan out performed the two distraction tasks in reducing the desire to smoke. This implies that whilst the processes associated with cigarette withdrawal might be vulnerable to disruption via cognitive distraction, the desire for a cigarette is less susceptible. Instead, the body scan may provide additional benefits via the moderation of negative affect or a relaxation response.
Supervisor: Cropley, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available