BACKGROUND: Although popular clinically, the psychometric properties of motivation rulers for tobacco cessation are unknown. This study examined the psychometric properties of rulers assessing importance, readiness, and confidence in tobacco cessation.
METHODS: This observational study of current smokers was conducted at 10 US emergency departments (EDs). Subjects were assessed during their ED visit (baseline) and reassessed two weeks later. We examined intercorrelations between the rulers as well as their construct and predictive validity. Hierarchical multinomial logistic regressions were used to examine the rulers' predictive ability after controlling for covariables.
RESULTS: We enrolled 375 subjects. The correlations between the three rulers ranged from 0.50 (between Important and Confidence) to 0.70 (between Readiness and Confidence); all were significant (p < 0.001). Individuals in the preparation stage displayed the highest motivation-ruler ratings (all rulers F 2, 363 >/= 43; p < 0.001). After adjusting for covariables, each of the rulers significantly improved prediction of smoking behavior change. The strength of their predictive ability was on par with that of stage of change.
CONCLUSION: Our results provide preliminary support for the psychometric soundness of the importance, readiness, and confidence rulers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/edwin_boudreaux/77/