Wednesday, August 23, 2017

High rates (40%) of smokers enrolled in smoking cessation trials lie about their abstinence

Scheuermann, T. S., Richter, K. P., Rigotti, N. A., Cummins, S. E., Harrington, K. F., Sherman, S. E., Zhu, S.-H., Tindle, H. A., Preacher, K. J., and the Consortium of Hospitals Advancing Research on Tobacco (CHART) (2017) Accuracy of self-reported smoking abstinence in clinical trials of hospital-initiated smoking interventions. Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.13913

Aims: To estimate the prevalence and predictors of failed biochemical verification of self-reported abstinence among participants enrolled in trials of hospital-initiated smoking cessation interventions.

Design: Comparison of characteristics between participants who verified and those who failed to verify self-reported abstinence.

Settings: Multi-site randomized clinical trials conducted between 2010 and 2014 in hospitals throughout the United States.

Participants: Recently hospitalized smokers who reported tobacco abstinence 6 months post-randomization and provided a saliva sample for verification purposes (n = 822).

Measurements: Outcomes were salivary cotinine-verified smoking abstinence at 10 and 15 ng/ml cut-points. Predictors and correlates included participant demographics and tobacco use; hospital diagnoses and treatment; and study characteristics collected via surveys and electronic medical records.

Findings: Usable samples were returned by 69.8% of the 1178 eligible trial participants who reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence. The proportion of participants verified as quit was 57.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 54.4, 61.2; 10 ng/ml cut-off] or 60.6% (95% CI = 57.2, 63.9; 15 ng/ml). Factors associated independently with verification at 10 ng/ml were education beyond high school education [odds ratio (OR) = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.07, 2.11], continuous abstinence since hospitalization (OR = 2.82; 95% CI = 2.02, 3.94), mailed versus in-person sample (OR = 3.20; 95% CI = 1.96, 5.21) and race. African American participants were less likely to verify abstinence than white participants (OR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.44, 0.93). Findings were similar for verification at 15 ng/ml. Verification rates did not differ by treatment group.

Conclusions: In the United States, high rates (40%) of recently hospitalized smokers enrolled in smoking cessation trials fail biochemical verification of their self-reported abstinence.

My comment: As Dr House would say, everybody lies.

Being similar while judging right and wrong: The effects of personal and situational similarity on moral judgements

Pascal, E. (2017), Being similar while judging right and wrong: The effects of personal and situational similarity on moral judgements. Int J Psychol. doi:10.1002/ijop.12448

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of similarity with the transgressor and the victim on the perceived immorality of the transgression. Participants read two stories describing a person that cheated on their partner and a police officer that mistreated somebody. In the first story we manipulated participants' personal similarity to the transgressor and in the second their personal similarity to the victim. In each story, participants' past situational similarity to the target character was assessed according to their previous experiences of being in the same position. Results show that ***both personal and past situational similarity to the transgressor determine less severe moral judgements, while personal and past situational similarity with the victim have the opposite effect***. We also tested several potential mediators of these effects, derived from competing theoretical accounts of the influence of similarity on perceived responsibility. Empathy emerged as mediating most of the effects of similarity on moral judgements, except those induced by past situational similarity with the victim. The foreseen probability of being in a similar situation mediated only the effects of similarity to the transgressor, and not those of similarity to the victim. ***Overall, results highlight the complex mechanisms of the influences of similarity on moral judgements***.

Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews

Freud: The Making of an Illusion, by Frederick Crews