, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 11-19

Measuring tobacco dependence treatment outcomes: A perspective from the behavior change consortium

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Abstract

The Behavior Change Consortium (BCC) served as a consortium of 15 National Institutes of Health-funded trials intended to link theories of health behavior change to outcomes related to improved diet, exercise, and/or tobacco cessation. Five sites developed and tested interventions aimed at changing tobacco use behaviors, and the remaining 10 focused on changing diet and/or physical activity. The BCC’s tobacco dependence workgroup functioned to identify measures of tobacco use and dependence for use across the 15 BCC trials. The BCC tobacco intervention trials described herein were categorized by type of trial; theory(ies) on which each was based; and the “thickness,” or intensity, of the intervention. Between-site differences across these parameters posed conceptual and analytic challenges for combining data for cross-site analyses, which were integral to the BCC mission of identifying mechanisms of health behavior change. The lessons learned by the BCC tobacco dependence workgroup regarding the measurement and analysis of tobacco outcomes among BCC trials are discussed, including the challenges and the opportunities regarding the preparation for cross-site analyses. The workgroup concludes that trials should report both assessment of a prolonged period of abstinence of 6 months or longer, in addition to the traditional 7-day point prevalence outcome.

This project was supported in part by Grants R01-MH5954 (Geoffrey Williams), cofunded by the National Institute of Mental Health and National Cancer Institute (NCI); R01-CA8069601 (Victor Strecher), funded by NCI; and R01-62165 (Belinda Borrelli), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.