Agreement of Self-Reported Medical History: Comparison of an In-Person Interview with a Self-Administered Questionnaire
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Purpose: To compare history of 22 different diseases reported during an in-person interview with that reported on a mailed self-administered questionnaire. Methods: 7841 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Potsdam study. The interview at baseline and the questionnaire at follow-up approximately 2 years later included identical questions about whether the participant had ever had a physician diagnosis of each disease. Incident diagnoses occurring in the interval between the interview and questionnaire were excluded from the analysis. Results: Agreement between self-report from the interview and from the questionnaire was highest (κ=0.83–0.88) for myocardial infarction, cancer and diabetes mellitus; it was lower (κ=0.68–0.77) for gout, hypertension, hay fever, asthma, osteoporosis, ulcer of the duodenum, thyroid disease, stroke, and kidney stones, and was lowest (κ=0.39–0.59) for chronic gastritis, ulcer of the stomach, cerebral ischemia, benign tumor, inflammatory bowel disease, angina pectoris, hyperlipidemia, rheumatism, colon polyps and skin disease. The poor agreement for less severe or more transient diseases was primarily a result of disease frequently being reported at the interview but not on the questionnaire. Conclusion: Self-administered questionnaires do not generate same information particularly for less severe or transient diseases as personal interviews. For these diseases, self-administered questionnaires are not recommended. Pilot studies that test validity will be necessary.
- Krueger DE. Measurement of prevalences of chronic disease by household interviews and clinical evaluations. Am J Public Health 1957; 47: 953–960.
- Madow WG. Net differences in interview data on chronic conditions and information derived from medical records. Vital Health Stat 1 1973; 2(57): 1–58.
- National Centers for Health Statistics. Health interview responses compared with medical records. Rockville, MD, 1965. Vital and health statistics, Series 2: no. 57; (USPHS publication no.1000).
- Bergmann MM, Calle EE, Mervis CA, Miracle-McMahill HL, Thun MJ, Heath CW. Validity of self-reported cancers in a prospective cohort study in comparison with data from state cancer registries. Am J Epidemiol 1998; 147: 556–562.
- Desai M, Bruce M, Desai R, Druss B. Validity of self-reported cancer history: A comparison of health interview data and cancer registry records. Am J Epidemiol 2001; 153: 299–306.
- Haapanen N, Miilunpalo S, Pasanen M, Oja P, Vuori I. Agreement between questionnaire data and medical records of chronic diseases in middle-aged and elderly Finnish men and women. Am J Epidemiol 1997; 145: 762–769.
- Lampe FC, Walker M, Lennon LT, Whincup PH, Ebrahim S. Validity of a self-reported history of doctor-diagnosed angina. J Clin Epidemiol 1999; 52: 73–81.
- Paganini-Hill A, Chao A. Accuracy of recall of hip fracture, heart attack, and cancer: A comparison of postal survey data and medical records. Am J Epidemiol 1993; 138: 101–106.
- Psaty BM, Kuller LH, Bild D, et al. Methods of assessing prevalent cardiovascular disease in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Ann Epidemiol 1995; 5: 270–277.
- Tretli S, Lund-Larsen PG, Foss OP. Reliability of questionnaire information on cardiovascular disease and diabetes: Cardiovascular disease study in Finnmark county. J Epidemiol Commun Health 1982; 36: 269–273.
- Riboli E, Kaaks R. The EPIC Project: Rationale and study design. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Int J Epidemiol 1997; 26 (Suppl 1): S6-S14.
- Boeing H, Korfmann A, Bergmann MM. Recruitment procedures of EPIC-Germany. European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Ann Nutr Metab 1999; 43: 205–215.
- Kroke A, Bergmann MM, Lotze G, Jeckel A, Klipstein-Grobusch K, Boeing H. Measures of quality control in the German component of the EPIC study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Ann Nutr Metab 1999; 43: 216–224.
- Bergmann MM, Bussas U, Boeing H. Follow-up procedures in EPIC-Germany — data quality aspects. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Ann Nutr Metab 1999; 43: 225–234.
- Landis JR, Koch GG. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 1977; 33: 159–174.
- Walker M, Shaper AG, Wannamethee SG, Whincup PH. Measuring the prevalence of disease in middle-aged British men. J R Coll Physicians Lond 1999; 33: 351–358.
- Honkanen K, Honkanen R, Heikkinen L, Kroger H, Saarikoski S. Validity of self-reports of fractures in perimenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 1999; 150: 511–516.
- Olsson L, Svardsudd K, Nilsson G, Ringqvist I, Tibblin G. Validity of a postal questionnaire with regard to the prevalence of myocardial infarction in a general population sample. Eur Heart J 1989; 10: 1011–1016.
- O 'Connor PJ, Rush WA, Pronk NP, Cherney LM. Identifying diabetes mellitus or heart disease among health maintenance organization members: Sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and cost of survey and database methods. Am J Manage Care 1998; 4: 335–342.
- Walker MK, Whincup PH, Shaper AG, Lennon LT, Thomson AG. Validation of patient recall of doctor-diagnosed heart attack and stroke: A postal questionnaire and record review comparison. Am J Epidemiol 1998; 148: 355–361.
- Kehoe R, Wu SY, Leske MC, Chylack Jr LT. Comparing self-reported and physician-reported medical history. Am J Epidemiol 1994; 139: 813–818.
- Carey TS, Garrett J, Jackman A, Sanders L, Kalsbeek W. Reporting of acute low back pain in a telephone interview. Identification of potential biases. Spine 1995; 20: 787–790.
- Raphael KG, Marbach JJ. When did your pain start? Reliability of self-reported age of onset of facial pain. Clin J Pain 1997; 13: 352–359.
- Romero Y, Thistle JL, Longstreth GF, et al. A questionnaire for the assessment of biliary symptoms. Am J Gastroenterol. 2003; 98: 1042–1051.
- Shaw MJ, Talley NJ, Beebe TJ, et al. Initial validation of a diagnostic questionnaire for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol 2001; 96: 52–57.
- Talley NJ, Phillips SF, Melton 3rd J, Wiltgen C, Zinsmeister AR. A patient questionnaire to identify bowel disease. Ann Intern Med 1989; 111: 671–674.
- Berger K, Hense HW, Rothdach A, Weltermann B, Keil U. A single question about prior stroke versus a stroke questionnaire to assess stroke prevalence in populations. Neuroepidemiology 2000; 19: 245–257.
- Agreement of Self-Reported Medical History: Comparison of an In-Person Interview with a Self-Administered Questionnaire
European Journal of Epidemiology
Volume 19, Issue 5 , pp 411-416
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Chronic diseases
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558, Bergholz-Rehbruecke, Germany
- 2. Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, USA