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The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

, Volume 12, Issue 10, pp 735–741 | Cite as

Repeatability and validity of a food frequency questionnaire in free-living older people in relation to cognitive function

  • X. Jia
  • L. C. A. Craig
  • L. S. Aucott
  • A. C. Milne
  • G. Mcneill
Article
  • 211 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the repeatability and validity of a self-administered, 175-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in free-living older people and to assess whether these are influenced by cognitive function.Participants and setting: 189 free-living people aged 64–80y were recruited from participants in a previous study.Design: To assess repeatability, 102 (52M, 50F) participants completed the FFQ on two occasions three months apart. To assess validity, another 87 participants (44 M, 43 F) completed the FFQ and a four-day weighed diet record three months later. 25 nutrients were studied.Results: For repeatability, Spearman rank correlation coefficients were above 0.35 (p<0.05) for all nutrients. Cohen’s weighted Kappa was above 0.4 for all nutrients except starch, riboflavin, retinol, β-carotene, and calcium. There were no substantial differences in correlation coefficients between sub-groups divided by short-term memory test score. There was no clear pattern for correlation coefficients in sub-groups divided by executive function test score. For validity, the Spearman rank correlation coefficients were above 0.2 (p<0.05) for all nutrients except fat, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, niacin equivalents and vitamin D, and Cohen’s weighted kappa was above 0.4 for alcohol and was above 0.2 for 13 other nutrients. Participants in the lowest-score groups of short-term memory and executive function had the lowest median Spearman correlation coefficient.Conclusions: The FFQ had reasonable repeatability and validity in ranking nutrient intakes in this population though the results varied between nutrients. Poor short-term memory or executive function may affect FFQ validity in ranking nutrient intakes.

Key words

Food frequency questionnaires repeatability validity older people cognitive ability 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and Serdi Éditions 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. Jia
    • 1
  • L. C. A. Craig
    • 1
  • L. S. Aucott
    • 2
  • A. C. Milne
    • 3
  • G. Mcneill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational MedicineUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of AberdeenForesterhill, AberdeenUK
  3. 3.Health Services Research UnitUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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