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BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Nov 21;11:153. doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-153.

Assessing smoking status in disadvantaged populations: is computer administered self report an accurate and acceptable measure?

Author information

1
Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, University of Newcastle, Hunter Medical Research Institute, Room 230A, Level 2, David Maddison Building, Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia. Jamie.Bryant@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Self report of smoking status is potentially unreliable in certain situations and in high-risk populations. This study aimed to determine the accuracy and acceptability of computer administered self-report of smoking status among a low socioeconomic (SES) population.

METHODS:

Clients attending a community service organisation for welfare support were invited to complete a cross-sectional touch screen computer health survey. Following survey completion, participants were invited to provide a breath sample to measure exposure to tobacco smoke in expired air. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated.

RESULTS:

Three hundred and eighty three participants completed the health survey, and 330 (86%) provided a breath sample. Of participants included in the validation analysis, 59% reported being a daily or occasional smoker. Sensitivity was 94.4% and specificity 92.8%. The positive and negative predictive values were 94.9% and 92.0% respectively. The majority of participants reported that the touch screen survey was both enjoyable (79%) and easy (88%) to complete.

CONCLUSIONS:

Computer administered self report is both acceptable and accurate as a method of assessing smoking status among low SES smokers in a community setting. Routine collection of health information using touch-screen computer has the potential to identify smokers and increase provision of support and referral in the community setting.

PMID:
22099396
PMCID:
PMC3233509
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2288-11-153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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