Sep 4, 2014
Published In: Nicotine and Tobacco Research, v. 16, suppl. 3, Sep. 2014, p. S190-S201
Posted on RAND.org on August 22, 2014
INTRODUCTION: Nicotine dependence is a core construct important for understanding cigarette smoking and smoking cessation behavior. This article describes analyses conducted to develop and evaluate item banks for assessing nicotine dependence among daily and nondaily smokers. 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 nicotine dependence items for daily and nondaily smokers. We also evaluated performance of short forms (SFs) and computer adaptive tests (CATs) to efficiently assess dependence. RESULTS: A total of 32 items were included in the Nicotine Dependence item banks; 22 items are common across daily and nondaily smokers, 5 are unique to daily smokers, and 5 are unique to nondaily smokers. For both daily and nondaily smokers, the Nicotine Dependence item banks are strongly unidimensional, highly reliable (reliability = 0.97 and 0.97, respectively), and perform similarly across gender, age, and race/ethnicity groups. SFs common to daily and nondaily smokers consist of 8 and 4 items (reliability = 0.91 and 0.81, respectively). Results from simulated CATs showed that dependence can be assessed with very good precision for most respondents using fewer than 6 items adaptively selected from the item banks. CONCLUSIONS: Nicotine dependence on cigarettes can be assessed on the basis of these item banks via one of the SFs, by using CATs, or through a tailored set of items selected for a specific research purpose.