Temperament and impulsivity predictors of smoking cessation outcomes

Francisca Lopez-Torrecillas, Jose Cesar Perales-Lopez, Ana Nieto-Ruiz, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Temperament and impulsivity are powerful predictors of addiction treatment outcomes. However, a comprehensive assessment of these features has not been examined in relation to smoking cessation outcomes. Methods: Naturalistic prospective study. Treatment-seeking smokers (n=140) were recruited as they engaged in an occupational health clinic providing smoking cessation treatment between 2009 and 2013. Participants were assessed at baseline with measures of temperament (Temperament and Character Inventory), trait impulsivity (Barratt Impulsivity Scale), and cognitive impulsivity (Go/No Go, Delay Discounting and Iowa Gambling Task). The outcome measure was treatment status, coded as dropout versus relapse versus abstinence at 3, 6, and 12 months endpoints. Participants were telephonically contacted and reminded of follow-up face to face assessments at each endpoint. The participants that failed to answer the phone calls or self-reported discontinuation of treatment and failed to attend the upcoming follow-up session were coded as dropouts. The participants that self-reported continuing treatment, and successfully attended the upcoming follow-up session were coded as either relapse or abstinence , based on the results of smoking behavior self-reports cross-validated with co-oximetry hemoglobin levels. Multinomial regression models were conducted to test whether temperament and impulsivity measures predicted dropout and relapse relative to abstinence outcomes. Results: Higher scores on temperament dimensions of novelty seeking and reward dependence predicted poorer retention across endpoints, whereas only higher scores on persistence predicted greater relapse. Higher scores on the trait dimension of non-planning impulsivity but not performance on cognitive impulsivity predicted poorer retention. Higher non-planning impulsivity and poorer performance in the Iowa Gambling Task predicted greater relapse at 3 and 6 months and 6 months respectively. Conclusion: Temperament measures, and specifically novelty seeking and reward dependence, predict smoking cessation treatment retention, whereas persistence, non-planning impulsivity and poor decision-making predict smoking relapse.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere112440
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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