Saliva samples returned by mail were compared to duplicates returned by interviewers in terms of the sensitivity and specificity of continine and thiocyanate analyses performed on those samples to detect tobacco use. Compared to the samples returned by interviewers, those returned through the mail were slightly lower in specificity but similar in sensitivity. These findings confirm that saliva samples do not deteriorate during transit via the postal service, although substantial questions remain that concern the validity of such samples in the evaluation of cessation programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (ROI CA 38275). Requests for reprints should be sent to David M. Murray, Ph.D., Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Stadium Gate 27, 61 I Beacon Street S.E.. Minneapolis, MN 55455.