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NAQC Newsroom: NAQC News

Release of Optional COVID-19 Questions for the MDS

Wednesday, October 14, 2020  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Dear Colleagues,

NAQC is pleased to release OPTIONAL COVID-19 QUESTIONS for the MDS. Interest in adding optional COVID-19 MDS questions arose during NAQC’s COVID-19 Contingency Planning calls with quitline providers in the spring of 2020. NAQC staff then formed and facilitated a workgroup of 18 members representing quitline providers, states, CDC, and research and evaluation entities to assist in drafting the questions and documenting their purpose and use. NAQC also gathered feedback on proposed questions from NAQC’s membership.

We emphasize that adoption of the optional COVID-19 questions is at each state’s discretion; however, if a decision is made to use them, please refer to the MDS Optional Question Bank for additional important information. Also please note that NAQC will follow up with states early in 2021 to learn who decided to adopt the questions, and – if adopted – aspects of using the questions that worked well or may be challenging.

The following summarizes the finalized purpose and use, question wording, and response options.

Purpose
Adding optional COVID-19 pandemic questions to the MDS provides standardized questions that can help the quitline community understand impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on quitline participants’ amount of tobacco use, motivation to quit, and staying quit.

Use
Individual responses may help tailor coaching/counseling needs of the participant. Aggregate results can help document changes in patterns of tobacco use and motivation to quit, as well as demonstrate the role of quitlines as a wellness service during this public health pandemic.

Intake/Registration Questions (optional)

Question 1:
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has your motivation to quit smoking or vaping or using non-combustible tobacco increased, decreased, or stayed the same? [MDS Optional Question Bank also includes don’t know, refused, not asked response options.]
Question 2:
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has the amount you smoke or vape or use non-combustible tobacco increased, decreased, or stayed the same? [MDS Optional Question Bank also includes don’t know, refused, not asked response options.]


Optional Seven-month Follow Up (Evaluation) Questions:
Has the COVID-19 pandemic made it easier, harder, or about the same for you to [quit] [stay quit from] smoking or vaping or using non-combustible tobacco?  [MDS Optional Question Bank also includes don’t know, refused, not asked response options.]

If the response is easier or harder, ask the following open-response question:

In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic made it [easier] [harder] for you to [quit] [stay quit from] tobacco?

NAQC houses the optional COVID-19 pandemic questions along with all other optional questions in its MDS Optional Question Bank. For background information on the Minimal Data Set in general please visit: NAQC Minimal Data Set Web Page.

Regards,

Christine Clements Stein, MPH, PhD
Research and Evaluation Manager
North American Quitline Consortium

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