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Multi-item Measures of Tobacco Health Perceptions: A Review

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Objective: In this paper, we review multi-item measures of tobacco risk perceptions and health beliefs, describe the measures' content and quality, and identify measure development opportunities. Methods: We identified 110 articles that included measures assessing perceptions of tobacco's health effects by combining multiple items into a score. We coded measures' provenance (newly developed vs built on prior measures), content, consistency with risk-perception researcher recommendations (eg, specifying use conditions), samples used, and reliability and validity. Results: Most measures were newly developed or built on the Smoking Consequences Questionnaire. Few measures assessed perceptions of non-cigarette products, and some health harms rarely were assessed. Few measures specified product use conditions. Over half of studies assessed reliability, which was typically high. Most assessed validity by comparing scores by use status, finding mixed results. Conclusions: Several measures of cigarette risk perceptions included a range of health effects and demonstrated reliability and validity, though they had other shortcomings (eg, they did not specify conditions of use). Researchers could help address gaps in measuring tobacco health perceptions by developing quality consensus measures for non-cigarette products, assessing a range of perceived health effects, assessing perceptions relative to other products, specifying use conditions, and showing multiple types of validity in diverse subpopulations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, Office of Science, Silver Spring, MD;, Email: [email protected] 2: Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, Office of Science, Silver Spring, MD

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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