Validity of Self-Reported Tobacco Smoke Exposure among Non-Smoking Adult Public Housing Residents
Fang, Shona C.
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CitationFang, Shona C., Shan Chen, Felicia Trachtenberg, Slawa Rokicki, Gary Adamkiewicz, and Douglas E. Levy. 2016. “Validity of Self-Reported Tobacco Smoke Exposure among Non-Smoking Adult Public Housing Residents.” PLoS ONE 11 (5): e0155024. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155024. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155024.
AbstractIntroduction: Tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) in public multi-unit housing (MUH) is of concern. However, the validity of self-reports for determining TSE among non-smoking residents in such housing is unclear. Methods: We analyzed data from 285 non-smoking public MUH residents living in non-smoking households in the Boston area. Participants were interviewed about personal TSE in various locations in the past 7 days and completed a diary of home TSE for 7 days. Self-reported TSE was validated against measurable saliva cotinine (lower limit of detection (LOD) 0.02 ng/ml) and airborne apartment nicotine (LOD 5 ng). Correlations, estimates of inter-measure agreement, and logistic regression assessed associations between self-reported TSE items and measurable cotinine and nicotine. Results: Cotinine and nicotine levels were low in this sample (median = 0.026 ng/ml and 0.022 μg/m3, respectively). Prevalence of detectable personal TSE was 66.3% via self-report and 57.0% via measurable cotinine (median concentration among those with cotinine>LOD: 0.057 ng/ml), with poor agreement (kappa = 0.06; sensitivity = 68.9%; specificity = 37.1%). TSE in the home, car, and other peoples’ homes was weakly associated with cotinine levels (Spearman correlations rs = 0.15–0.25), while TSE in public places was not associated with cotinine. Among those with airborne nicotine and daily diary data (n = 161), a smaller proportion had household TSE via self-report (41.6%) compared with measurable airborne nicotine (53.4%) (median concentration among those with nicotine>LOD: 0.04 μg/m3) (kappa = 0.09, sensitivity = 46.5%, specificity = 62.7%). Conclusions: Self-report alone was not adequate to identify individuals with TSE, as 31% with measurable cotinine and 53% with measurable nicotine did not report TSE. Self-report of TSE in private indoor spaces outside the home was most associated with measurable cotinine in this low-income non-smoking population.
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