Advancing Behavioral Health Measurement
Sep 4, 2014
Published In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research, v. 16, suppl. 3, Sep. 2014, p. S223-S231
Posted on RAND.org on August 01, 2014
INTRODUCTION: Smokers' health-related outcome expectancies are associated with a number of important constructs in smoking research, yet there are no measures currently available that focus exclusively on this domain. This paper describes the development and evaluation of item banks for assessing the health expectancies of smoking. METHODS: Using data from a sample of daily (N = 4,201) and nondaily (N = 1,183) smokers, we conducted a series of item factor analyses, item response theory analyses, and differential item functioning analyses (according to gender, age, and race/ethnicity) to arrive at a unidimensional set of health expectancies items for daily and nondaily smokers. We also evaluated the performance of short forms (SFs) and computer adaptive tests (CATs) to efficiently assess health expectancies. RESULTS: A total of 24 items were included in the Health Expectancies item banks; 13 items are common across daily and nondaily smokers, 6 are unique to daily, and 5 are unique to nondaily. For both daily and nondaily smokers, the Health Expectancies item banks are unidimensional, reliable (reliability = 0.95 and 0.96, respectively), and perform similarly across gender, age, and race/ethnicity groups. A SF common to daily and nondaily smokers consists of 6 items (reliability = 0.87). Results from simulated CATs showed that health expectancies can be assessed with good precision with an average of 5–6 items adaptively selected from the item banks. CONCLUSIONS: Health expectancies of smoking can be assessed on the basis of these item banks via SFs, CATs, or through a tailored set of items selected for a specific research purpose.
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