Smoking habits in patients who have been treated for an oral cancer: validation of self report using saliva cotinine

S Sandhu, Gerald Michael Humphris, S Whitley, A Cardozo, A Sandhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a perception amongst health care professional that patients under-report their smoking habits. The aim of this study was to validate self-reported smoking habits in patients who have been treated for an oral cancer using saliva cotinine.

In a cross-sectional study100 consecutive patients attending a maxillofacial oncology clinic completed a smoking related questionnaire following which a saliva sample was obtained. Saliva cotinine levels were determined by gas-liquid chromatography.

The mean (SD) age 61 (11), 74% mate, 26% female. The majority (79%) had Stage I/II disease, which were treated by surgery (49%), radiotherapy (14%) or combined therapy (37%). Average time (SD) since diagnosis was 28 (24) months. 42% were self-reported smokers. Cotinine assessment was possible from 91 patients. Of these 43% (39/91) were smokers by self-report, all were biochemically smokers (cotinine level > 14 mug/l). 9.6% (5/52) patients who claimed to be non-smokers by self-report had cotinine levels suggesting recent active smoking. The level of agreement was excellent (K = 0.89), and specificity and sensitivity high (1 and 0.90, respectively).

Self-reported smoking habits are reasonably accurate in this group of patients. We believe that smoking related research using self-report alone can reliably be carried out in this particular patient group. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-578
Number of pages3
JournalOral Oncology
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • oral cancer
  • smoking habits
  • self-report
  • saliva cotinine
  • NECK-CANCER
  • HEAD

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