A multimodal approach to assessing the impact of nicotine dependence, nicotine abstinence, and craving on negative affect in smokers

Jason D Robinson, Cho Y Lam, Brian L Carter, Jennifer A Minnix, Yong Cui, Francesco Versace, David W Wetter, Paul M Cinciripini
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2011, 19 (1): 40-52
We used multimodal measurement to evaluate whether (a) nicotine dependence is associated with baseline and postquit negative affect and craving, (b) smoking relapse is associated with greater negative affect and craving than abstinence, and (c) craving is associated with negative affect. Treatment-seeking smokers were randomly assigned to either a brief behaviorally based smoking-cessation treatment condition or to a delayed treatment control condition. Participants in the treatment condition attended four assessment sessions, 4-5 days prequit (baseline), 1-2 days postquit, 3-5 days postquit, and 10-14 days postquit, while controls attended four sessions spaced over the same intervals. Retrospective questionnaires were collected at the beginning of each session, and corrugator EMG and in-session ratings were collected during viewing of affective and cigarette-related slides. The multimodal measures indicated that more dependent smokers experienced greater negative affect and craving at baseline and postquit, regardless of abstinence status. The self-report measures indicated that both relapsed and abstinent smokers reported greater negative affect and craving than control smokers. Craving was associated with negative affect across measurement modalities. These results highlight the benefits of using multimodal measures to study the impact of nicotine dependence and withdrawal on negative affect and craving.

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