The accuracy of environmental tobacco smoke exposure measures among asthmatic children

J Clin Epidemiol. 1995 Oct;48(10):1251-9. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(95)00021-u.


This study determined the reliability and validity of parent-reported measures of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure among 91 asthmatic children. Test-retest reliability assessments were conducted for environmental, biological and parent-reported measures of ETS exposure. All measures except a urine cotinine assay resulted in satisfactory levels of reliability. The parent-reported measures of ETS exposure were compared to the environmental filter measure of nicotine as well as submitted to a construct validity test. Parent-reported home exposure to ETS proved moderately and significantly correlated to the filter measure. Approximately 80% of all hypothetical constructs agreed with the observed relationships for convergent, divergent and discriminant validity. It was concluded that middle class Caucasian parents' reports of their asthmatic child's residential ETS exposure are reliable and valid. These parent-reported measures should be valuable tools for epidemiological investigations and for clinical programs designed to reduce asthmatic children's residential exposure to ETS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Child
  • Cotinine / urine
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Environmental Monitoring / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / analysis
  • Parents*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Nicotine
  • Cotinine