Use of qualitative research to ensure we measure what matters to users of tobacco and/or nicotine products
Cigarette smoking has a profound impact not on only physiological health but also perceived health and quality of life. There is currently a public health focus on cigarette smokers who switch to alternative smoke-free tobacco and nicotine-containing products (TNPs) (such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and heated tobacco products) and a timely need for a valid and fit-for-purpose outcome measure for accurately assessing the impact of these products on the perceived health and functioning status of consumers. This led to the initiation of the development of a new self-reported health and functioning measure related to TNP use. In 2018, we presented the preparatory phase of the development, which included identification of 69 concepts through expert opinion, a scoping literature review and re-analysis of qualitative data from focus groups, and individual interviews assessing perceived risk and dependence associated with TNP use. This presentation presents qualitative research activities (qualitative item mapping, longitudinal interviews, retrospective individual interviews, and focus groups) for eliciting health- and functioning-related concepts in cigarettes smokers who have switched to alternative smoke-free TNPs and specifically for understanding essential concepts that are most likely to change (improve/deteriorate) or remain stable with such a switch. The data from these studies will be used to document content validity, refine the conceptual and measurement model for the new health and functioning measure, and support item bank generation for further assessment of its psychometric performance.