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Reliability and validity of a Life Course Passive Smoke Exposure Questionnaire in an Australian cohort from childhood to adulthood


Ezegbe, C and Magnussen, CG and Neil, AL and Buscot, M-J and Dwyer, T and Venn, A and Gall, S, Reliability and validity of a Life Course Passive Smoke Exposure Questionnaire in an Australian cohort from childhood to adulthood, Journal of Preventive Medicine & Public Health, 54, (2) pp. 153-159. ISSN 1975-8375 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright Š 2021 The Korean Society for Preventive Medicine. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.3961/jpmph.20.559


Objectives: Life course exposure to passive smoke may predict health, but there are few validated measures. We tested the reliability and validity of a retrospective life course passive smoking questionnaire.

Methods: Participants from the third follow-up of the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study (2014-2019, ages 36-49 years) retrospectively reported mother/father/other household member smoking when living at home during childhood, including duration (years) and smoking location (never/sometimes/always inside house). The severity of exposure index (SEI; sum of mother/father/other years smoked multiplied by smoking location), cumulative years of exposure (CYE; sum of mother/father/other years), and total household smokers (THS) were derived. The reliability of retrospective passive smoking reports was examined with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) using household smoking reported 34 years earlier in 1985 by participants when aged 7-15 years. Construct validity was examined by correlating retrospective passive smoking with participants' smoking in adulthood and lung function in childhood and adulthood.

Results: Among 2082 participants (meanąstandard deviation [SD], 45.0ą2.5 years; 55.2% females), THS ranged from 0 to 5 (meaną SD, 0.9ą1.0), CYE ranged from 0 to 106 (meanąSD, 10.5ą13.9), and SEI ranged from 0 to 318 (meanąSD, 24.4ą36.0). Retrospective measures showed moderate agreement with total household smokers reported in childhood (ICC, 0.58 to 0.62). The retrospective measures were weakly but significantly (p<0.05) correlated with participants' smoking (r=0.13 to 0.15) and lung function (r= -0.05 to -0.06).

Conclusions: The retrospective passive smoking questionnaire showed reasonable reliability and validity. This measure may be useful for epidemiological studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoking, questionnaire, validity, reliability
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Behavioural epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Ezegbe, C (Dr Vincent Ezegbe)
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
UTAS Author:Neil, AL (Associate Professor Amanda Neil)
UTAS Author:Buscot, M-J (Dr Marie-Jeanne Buscot)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Gall, S (Associate Professor Seana Gall)
ID Code:144999
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1128373)
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-24
Last Modified:2021-09-02
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