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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Self-Report of Tobacco Use Status: Comparison of Paper-Based Questionnaire, Online Questionnaire

Wednesday, February 12, 2014  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Popul Health Manag. 2014 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]
Self-Report of Tobacco Use Status: Comparison of Paper-Based Questionnaire, Online Questionnaire, and Direct Face-to-Face Interview-Implications for Meaningful Use.
Steffen MW, Murad MH, Hays JT, Newcomb RD, Molella RG, Cha SS, Hagen PT

Identifying tobacco use status is essential to address use and provide resources to help patients quit. Being able to collect this information in an electronic format will become increasingly important, as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has included the assessment of tobacco use as part of its Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria. The objective was to compare the accuracy of online vs. paper assessment methods to ascertain cigarette smoking status using a face-to-face structured interview as the gold standard. This was a retrospective analysis of a stratified opportunity sample of consecutive patients, reporting in 2010 for a periodic health evaluation, who completed either a scannable paper-based form or an online questionnaire and underwent a standardized rooming interview. Compared with face-to-face structured interview, the overall observed agreement and kappa coefficient for both methods combined (paper and online) were 97.7% and 0.69 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51-0.86) . For the online form they were 97.4% and 0.61 (95% CI 0.33-0.90), and for the paper form they were 97.9% and 0.75 (95% CI 0.54-0.96). There was no statistically significant difference in agreement between the online and paper-based methods (P=0.76) compared with a face-to-face structured interview. Online assessment of tobacco use status is as accurate as a paper questionnaire, and both methods have greater than 97% observed agreement with a face-to-face structured interview. The use of online assessment of tobacco use status has several advantages and more widespread use should be explored.

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