Development and validation of a cluster-based classification system to facilitate treatment tailoring



Aims: The objectives of this study were to replicate smoker profiles identified in Batra et al. (in press) and to develop a cluster-based classification system to categorize new cases into smoker profiles so that an appropriate tailored intervention could be applied.

Methods: Participants were smokers in southwest Germany who sought treatment for smoking cessation. In the first sample, discriminant analysis was used to create classification formulas for a future study (classification sample: n = 165). The second sample served to replicate the smoker profiles, which included participants reporting symptoms of hyperactivity/novelty-seeking, depressivity or high nicotine dependence as well as participants scoring low across smoking and psychological variables (replication sample: N = 134).

Results: Part 1 was focused on the development of formulas, using Fisher's coefficients, with which new cases could be classified. Part 2 adequately replicated previous findings concerning the smoker profiles, such that 70% of participants in the second sample were classified identically using cluster analysis and classification formulas.

Conclusions: The smoker profiles found in a previous study were replicated, and a classification system was developed for a future study which will test the efficacy of tailored treatments for the different smoker profiles. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.