alexa The Fagerström test for nicotine dependence: do revisions in the item scoring enhance the psychometric properties?


Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

Author(s): Korte KJ, Capron DW, Zvolensky M, Schmidt NB

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Abstract Despite widespread use, considerable literature has shown that the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND; Heatherton, Kozlowski, Frecker, & Fagerström, 1991) has questionable psychometric properties, generally reflecting relatively poor properties of reliability and validity. One factor that may be affecting the psychometric qualities of the scale is the use of a dichotomous, forced-choice response format for certain items, in which respondents are asked to answer each question with a Yes or No response. This scoring approach is especially problematic when used to measure dimensional constructs, such as nicotine dependence, in which a dimensional construct is forced into a categorical construct. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether revising the response format utilized in the FTND would lead to an enhancement in the psychometric properties of this scale. This question was examined by removing the forced-choice response criteria on items 2, 5, and 6 of the FTND and revising the response options to reflect a 4-point Likert response set (0 = never, 1 = sometimes, 2 = most of the time, 3 = always). Participants consisted of 343 smokers from the community. Results revealed that the revised scoring approach resulted in a significant incremental improvement in scale reliability and enhanced convergent validity, showing a stronger association with smoking outcomes than the FTQ or FTND. Findings are discussed in terms of recommendations for scale revision and usage. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Addict Behav and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

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