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Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Jan 2. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx271. [Epub ahead of print]

Psychometric evaluation of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Nicotine Dependence Item Bank for use with electronic cigarettes.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, MC, Los Angeles, CA.
Penn State Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, Penn State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA.
Health Sector, Westat, Rockville, Maryland.
Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD.



Psychometrically sound measures of e-cigarette dependence are lacking.


We modified the PROMIS Nicotine Dependence Item Banks for use with e-cigarettes and evaluated the psychometrics of the 22-, 8- and 4-item adapted versions. 1009 adults who reported using e-cigarettes at least weekly completed an anonymous survey in Summer 2016 (50.2% male, 77.1% White, mean age 35.81 [10.71], 66.4% daily e-cigarette users, 72.6% current cigarette smokers). Psychometric analyses included confirmatory factor analysis, internal consistency, measurement invariance, examination of mean-level differences, convergent validity, and test-criterion relationships with e-cigarette use outcomes.


All PROMIS-E versions had confirmable, internally consistent latent structures that were scalar invariant by sex, race, e-cigarette use (non-daily/daily), e-liquid nicotine content (no/yes), and current cigarette smoking status (no/yes). Daily e-cigarette users, nicotine e-liquid users, and cigarette smokers reported being more dependent on e-cigarettes than their counterparts. All PROMIS-E versions correlated strongly with one another, evidenced convergent validity with the Penn State E-cigarette Dependence Index and time to first e-cigarette use in the morning, and evidenced test-criterion relationships with vaping frequency, e-liquid nicotine concentration, and e-cigarette quit attempts. Similar results were observed when analyses were conducted within subsamples of exclusive e-cigarette users and duals-users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.


Each PROMIS-E version evidenced strong psychometric properties for assessing e-cigarette dependence in adults who either use e-cigarette exclusively or who are dual-users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. However, results indicated little benefit of the longer versions over the 4-item PROMIS-E, which provides an efficient assessment of e-cigarette dependence.


The availability of the novel, psychometrically sound PROMIS-E can further research on a wide range of questions related to e-cigarette use and dependence. In addition, the overlap between the PROMIS-E and the original PROMIS that was developed for assessing nicotine dependence to cigarettes provides consistency within the field.


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