A fit-for-purpose instrument
ABOUT™—Perceived Risk is part of the ABOUT™ Toolbox, a result of PMI's ongoing collaborative effort to develop fit-for-purpose measurement instruments to improve the quality of harm reduction evaluation.
This self-report instrument measures respondents' perceptions of the risks associated with a range of tobacco and nicotine-containing products. Perceptions of both individual risk and general risk can be measured relative to other products, cessation aids, and quitting tobacco products altogether.
Measuring perceived risks
ABOUT™—Perceived Risk measures respondents' perceptions about the risk associated with Combustible Cigarettes (CCs), Nicotine Replacement Therapy products (NRTs), and Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs*). It can also be used to measure the perceived risks associated with cessation or other past use of CCs.
Two sets of perceptions can be measured: the perceived risks to the individual respondent, and the perceived risks to users of the product in general. Both versions share the same items and response options; only the opening sections differ to direct respondents to answer with personal or general risks in mind.
By quantifying perceived tobacco and nicotine-containing product risks, the ABOUT™—Perceived Risk may be used by researchers in clinical and population-based studies to gather meaningful insight on
1. The effects of risk perception on tobacco and nicotine-containing product use behavior among current tobacco users,
2. The effects of risk perception on product use initiation among non-users, and
3. The effects of risk communication on consumers’ understanding and perceptions of risk.
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“The ABOUT™—Perceived Risk Instrument project was one of the most meticulous, rigorous, and substantive scale development studies I have had the honour of being involved during my 25 years in the field.”
The instrument in detail
This instrument consists of three domains. Our Perceived Health Risk scale can be used either in the original 18-items version or a shorter 9-items version. The Perceived Addiction Risk scale contains 7 items: 6 applicable to all products and an additional item applicable only to cessation. The instrument is complemented by two single items measuring Perceived Harm to Others.
The response options rely on a 5-point Likert-like scale: 0=no risk; 1=low risk; 2=moderate risk; 3=high risk; 4=very high risk. An "I don't know" response option is also proposed for each question.
The ABOUT™—Perceived Risk instrument was validated using the electronic method of administration, though it can also be administered on paper. The time for administration is less than 5 minutes per scale, and less than 2 minutes for the 2 items on the Perceived Harm to Others domain.
Access ABOUT™—Perceived Risk via ePROVIDE™
ABOUT™—Perceived Risk is distributed by Mapi Research Trust on our behalf. Any questions on ABOUT™—Perceived Risk, on the instructions for administration, scoring, interpretation, conditions of use, and its available translations shall be directed to Mapi Research Trust.
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Data regarding development and initial validation studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The original name of the instrument was Perceived Risk Instrument (PRI), Personal version (PRI-P) and General version (PRI-G). The name was changed later to ABOUT™—Perceived Risk.
Cano S†, Chrea C, Salzberger T†, Alfieri T†, Emilien G, Mainy N, Ramazzotti A, Lüdicke F, Weitkunat R. Development and validation of a new instrument to measure perceived risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine-containing products. Health Quality of Life Outcomes. 2018 Sep 21;16(1):192 (Link to PMIScience article) (Link to full text article)
Salzberger T†, Chrea C, Cano S†, Martin M†, Atkison M†,Emilien G, Mainy N, Ramazzotti A, Weitkunat R, Lüdicke F. Perceived risks associated with the use of tobacco and nicotine-containing products: Findings from qualitative research. Tobacco Science & Technology. 2017 Dec; 50(13): 32-42 (Link to PMIScience article) (Link to full text article)
† This author is not affiliated with PMI.
"As part of the ABOUT™ Toolbox initiative, the ABOUT™—Perceived Risk instrument has been based on the most comprehensive qualitative research I have ever witnessed. State-of-the-art psychometric methods contributed to accurate, precise, and interpretable measures."