The Psychometric Properties of the Minnesota Tobacco Withdrawal Scale Among Patients with Mental Illness

Background and Objectives:

Approximately 65% of psychiatric inpatients experience moderate-to-severe nicotine withdrawal (NW), a set of symptoms appearing within 24 hr after an abrupt cessation or reduction of use of tobacco-containing products in those using nicotine daily for at least a couple of weeks. The Minnesota Tobacco Withdrawal Scale (MTWS) is a widely used instrument for detecting NW. However, the psychometric properties of the MTWS have not previously been examined among patients with serious mental illness (SMI) undergoing tobacco-free hospitalization. The objective of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the MTWS among patients with SMI during tobacco-free psychiatric hospitalization.

 

Methods:

Reliability was tested by examining Cronbach’s α and item analysis. Validity was examined through hypothesis testing and exploratory factor analysis (N = 255).

 

Results:

The reliability analysis yielded a Cronbach’s α coefficient of .763, an inter-item correlations coefficient of .393, and item-total correlations between .291 and .691. Hypothesis testing confirmed the construct validity of the MTWS, and an exploratory factor analysis yielded a unidimensional scale.

 

Conclusion:

The MTWS demonstrated adequate reliable and valid psychometric properties for measuring NW among patients with SMI. Nurses and other health-care professionals may use this instrument in clinical practice to identify patients with SMI experiencing NW. The MTWS is psychometrically sound for capturing NW during tobacco-free psychiatric hospitalization. Future research should examine the efficacy of the MTWS in measuring NW in this population over an extended period of hospitalization.

The Psychometric Properties of the Minnesota Tobacco Withdrawal Scale Among Patients with Mental Illness.

Approximately 65% of psychiatric inpatients experience moderate-to-severe nicotine withdrawal (NW), a set of symptoms appearing within 24 hr…