Methodology for developing and evaluating the PROMIS smoking item banks

Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Sep;16 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S175-89. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt123. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Introduction: This article describes the procedures used in the PROMIS Smoking Initiative for the development and evaluation of item banks, short forms (SFs), and computerized adaptive tests (CATs) for the assessment of 6 constructs related to cigarette smoking: nicotine dependence, coping expectancies, emotional and sensory expectancies, health expectancies, psychosocial expectancies, and social motivations for smoking.

Methods: Analyses were conducted using response data from a large national sample of smokers. Items related to each construct were subjected to extensive item factor analyses and evaluation of differential item functioning (DIF). Final item banks were calibrated, and SF assessments were developed for each construct. The performance of the SFs and the potential use of the item banks for CAT administration were examined through simulation study.

Results: Item selection based on dimensionality assessment and DIF analyses produced item banks that were essentially unidimensional in structure and free of bias. Simulation studies demonstrated that the constructs could be accurately measured with a relatively small number of carefully selected items, either through fixed SFs or CAT-based assessment. Illustrative results are presented, and subsequent articles provide detailed discussion of each item bank in turn.

Conclusions: The development of the PROMIS smoking item banks provides researchers with new tools for measuring smoking-related constructs. The use of the calibrated item banks and suggested SF assessments will enhance the quality of score estimates, thus advancing smoking research. Moreover, the methods used in the current study, including innovative approaches to item selection and SF construction, may have general relevance to item bank development and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calibration
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Self Report
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Young Adult