Feasibility of Collecting Saliva for Biological Verification of Tobacco Use Status in Dental Practices and Patients' Homes: Results from the National Dental PBRN

Community Dent Health. 2019 Aug 29;36(3):187-189. doi: 10.1922/CDH_4474Stoops03.


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of collecting and analyzing saliva samples from dental practices and patients' homes for biochemical verification of tobacco use status.

Basic research design: Sub-study within single-arm, multi-center, longitudinal clinical study.

Clinical setting: Dental practices in the South Central region of the United States National Dental Practice-Based Research Network and patients' homes.

Participants: Fifty-five patients recruited from 30 dental practices.

Interventions: Participants in the sub-study were instructed on saliva collection for cotinine analysis in dental practices where they enrolled in the primary study. Saliva was collected at the practices and then from patients' homes.

Main outcome measures: Feasibility for dental practice collection was define as 80% of enrolled participants having analyzable samples. For patients' home collection, feasibility was defined as 70%.

Results: Forty-seven samples (i.e., 86% of those enrolled) collected in dental practices were analyzable. Twenty-one samples (i.e. 38% of those enrolled) collected in patients' homes were analyzable.

Conclusions: Collecting saliva samples for cotinine analysis from dental practices, but not from patients' homes, was feasible. Dental practices may provide an advantageous setting for biochemically verifying tobacco use status as part of clinical trials for tobacco cessation.

Keywords: Smoking cessation; cotinine; dental practice; feasibility; saliva.

MeSH terms

  • Cotinine* / analysis
  • Dental Care
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Tobacco Use*


  • Cotinine