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A validation and calibration process for self-reported tobacco use with participants’ cotinine levels: an example from the Building Blocks trial

Huang, Chao, Roberts, Zoe, Cannings-John, Rebecca, Sanders, Julia, Pickett, Kate, Montgomery, Alan and Robling, Michael 2019. A validation and calibration process for self-reported tobacco use with participants’ cotinine levels: an example from the Building Blocks trial. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 21 (12) , pp. 1660-1654. 10.1093/ntr/nty232

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Abstract

Introduction: Reducing smoking in pregnancy was a primary outcome in our Building Blocks trial of the Family Nurse Partnership[1]. We calibrated maternal reports of smoking using cotinine values derived from urine samples to assess tobacco use [2]. This involves identifying the extent to which an individual accurately reports smoking and requires complete and synchronized data collection over time. However, some urine samples may be missed or collected at a different time from selfreport (non-synchronised). Methods: We used statistical validation processes to address both non-synchronized and incomplete data. First, we examined consistency in reporting behaviours at baseline and follow-up for participants grouped by extent of non-synchronized time of collection. Second, we used data from complete cases to infer values for mothers with missing urine samples at follow-up. We then used Markov chain transition rate matrix constructed to assess the robustness of such inferences. Results: Maternal under- and over-reporting of smoking were consistent across the 870 participants grouped by different levels of non-contemporary data collection (Breslow-Day test: p=0.24; Chisquared test: p=0.69). Using participants’ baseline reporting behaviours to infer their follow-ups provided comparable smoking outcomes (4.5 cigarettes per day with SD of 5.5) to the simulated counterparts (4.5 cigarettes per day with SD of 6.0). Conclusion: We have demonstrated consistent reporting behaviour over time and minimal impact due to non-aligned follow-up urine sample collection. For studies collecting smoking data this proposed method provided a pragmatic solution to facilitate the calibration process of self-reported tobacco use and retain adequate power without introducing undue bias.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Medicine
ISSN: 1462-2203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 24 October 2018
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 14:56
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131749

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