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NAQC Newsroom: Research

A Comparison of the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependence and Cigarette Dependence Scale

Thursday, June 11, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Ivan Berlin, Edward G. Singleton and Stephen J. Heishman.
A Comparison of the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependence and Cigarette Dependence Scale in a Treatment-Seeking Sample of Pregnant Smokers.
Nicotine Tob. Res published 19 May 2015. 10.1093/ntr/ntv108
Valid and reliable brief measures of cigarette dependence are essential for research purposes and effective clinical care. Two widely-used brief measures of cigarette dependence are the six-item Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence (FTCD) and five-item Cigarette Dependence Scale (CDS-5). Their respective metric characteristics among pregnant smokers have not yet been studied. This was a secondary analysis of data of pregnant smokers (N = 476) enrolled in a smoking cessation study. We assessed internal consistency, reliability, and examined correlations between the instruments and smoking-related behaviors for construct validity. We evaluated predictive validity by testing how well the measures predict abstinence 2 weeks after quit date.
Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the CDS-5 was 0.62 and for the FTCD 0.55. Measures were strongly correlated with each other, although FTCD, but not CDS-5, was associated with saliva cotinine concentration. The FTCD, CDS-5, craving to smoke, and withdrawal symptoms failed to predict smoking status 2 weeks following the quit date. Suboptimal reliability estimates and failure to predict short-term smoking call into question the value of including either of the brief measures in studies that aim to explain the obstacles to smoking cessation during pregnancy.

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