Research has had mixed success in identifying pretreatment variables which can be used to guide treatment and enhance outcome. A critical first step in the process is to identify variables that reliably predict outcome. Some recent studies, largely retrospective, have found mixed evidence on the relationship between task persistence and smoking outcome measures. In the present study, we use data from a randomized clinical trial (N = 241) to prospectively investigate the ability of persistence to predict outcome. Findings from multivariate analyses did not support our hypotheses: persistence did not predict outcome. We discuss these findings in relation to previous studies by focusing on theoretical and measurement issues related to the study of persistence in smoking cessation research. We conclude by recommending directions for future research, including conceptual clarification of the relationship between persistence and theoretically related constructs and investigations of variables that may moderate relationships between these constructs and cessation outcome.
- Nicotine dependence
- Randomized clinical trial