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  1. Tobacco Science & Research

Risk and Harm Perception Measurement in Tobacco Research: Review of the Literature

Principal Investigator(s): Annette Kaufman and Alexander Persoskie

Funding Mechanism: Interagency Agreement

ID number: N/A

Award Date: N/A

Institution: NIH/National Cancer Institute


Although risk perception of tobacco products has been researched extensively, no "gold standard" measures of risk perception in tobacco use exist. The goal of this project is to better understand how researchers have measured risk perception in published tobacco-related studies. Investigators will review the published literature related to the measurement of risk perceptions about tobacco use and tobacco products. Investigators identified 2,557 potentially related articles using a comprehensive search string in three databases (PubMed, PsycInfo, and Web of Science). They reviewed those abstracts and identified 441 that appeared to include quantitative measures of risk perceptions related to tobacco use. Investigators then reviewed the full texts of a random sample of 100 of these articles, identifying 54 that included quantitative risk perception measures. Investigators extracted the risk perception measures from these articles and coded them for the following categories: product specified; general/specific health outcome; risk for self, other, or general; conditional on frequency and/or length of time using a product; severity; affect; numeric risk response; Likert scale response; direct comparative risk; and generalized risk (e.g., “What are your chances of dying next year?”). The next phase of this project is to evaluate and summarize the risk perception measures in these categories. The results of this literature review will help inform the measurement of risk perception in tobacco research.