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Validity and reliability of adult recall of past sun exposure in a case-control study of multiple sclerosis.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Measurement of past sun exposure through recall by adults has the potential for measurement error. We aimed to investigate aspects of validity and reliability of self-reported past sun exposure.

METHODS

A population-based case-control study was conducted in Tasmania on 136 cases with multiple sclerosis and 272 age- and sex-matched community controls. Repeat interviews on 52 cases and 52 controls were done on average 11 weeks after the initial interview. Sun exposure was assessed by questionnaire and lifetime calendar. Other measurements included serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, actinic damage, and skin phenotype.

RESULTS

There was an association between recent sun exposure and serum vitamin D (time in the sun: r = 0.22, P < 0.01; activities outside: r = 0.31, P < 0.01 for controls) and between lifetime sun exposure and actinic damage [correlation between 0.34 (P < 0.01) and 0.17 (P = 0.01) for controls]. The test-retest weighted kappa statistic of self-reported sun exposure ranged from 0.43 to 0.74. Recall of childhood/adolescent sun exposure by standardized questioning was no less reproducible than recall of recent adult sun exposure and no less reliable when made with the calendar method. Comparing the questionnaire and calendar method, the measures of childhood/adolescent sun exposure had a similar predictive validity for multiple sclerosis.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study provide further evidence that adults are able to recall past sun exposure with shown validity and reliability and present information about the possible reasons for the good reliability of recalled sun exposure measures.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 23, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia. Ingrid.vanderMei@utas.edu.au

    , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Age Distribution
    Case-Control Studies
    Child
    Female
    Humans
    Interviews as Topic
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Sex Distribution
    Sunlight
    Surveys and Questionnaires
    Vitamin D

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Validation Studies

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    16896046

    Citation

    van der Mei, I A F., et al. "Validity and Reliability of Adult Recall of Past Sun Exposure in a Case-control Study of Multiple Sclerosis." Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention : a Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored By the American Society of Preventive Oncology, vol. 15, no. 8, 2006, pp. 1538-44.
    van der Mei IA, Blizzard L, Ponsonby AL, et al. Validity and reliability of adult recall of past sun exposure in a case-control study of multiple sclerosis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15(8):1538-44.
    van der Mei, I. A., Blizzard, L., Ponsonby, A. L., & Dwyer, T. (2006). Validity and reliability of adult recall of past sun exposure in a case-control study of multiple sclerosis. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention : a Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored By the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 15(8), pp. 1538-44.
    van der Mei IA, et al. Validity and Reliability of Adult Recall of Past Sun Exposure in a Case-control Study of Multiple Sclerosis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15(8):1538-44. PubMed PMID: 16896046.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Validity and reliability of adult recall of past sun exposure in a case-control study of multiple sclerosis. AU - van der Mei,I A F, AU - Blizzard,L, AU - Ponsonby,A-L, AU - Dwyer,T, PY - 2006/8/10/pubmed PY - 2006/12/13/medline PY - 2006/8/10/entrez SP - 1538 EP - 44 JF - Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology JO - Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. VL - 15 IS - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: Measurement of past sun exposure through recall by adults has the potential for measurement error. We aimed to investigate aspects of validity and reliability of self-reported past sun exposure. METHODS: A population-based case-control study was conducted in Tasmania on 136 cases with multiple sclerosis and 272 age- and sex-matched community controls. Repeat interviews on 52 cases and 52 controls were done on average 11 weeks after the initial interview. Sun exposure was assessed by questionnaire and lifetime calendar. Other measurements included serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, actinic damage, and skin phenotype. RESULTS: There was an association between recent sun exposure and serum vitamin D (time in the sun: r = 0.22, P < 0.01; activities outside: r = 0.31, P < 0.01 for controls) and between lifetime sun exposure and actinic damage [correlation between 0.34 (P < 0.01) and 0.17 (P = 0.01) for controls]. The test-retest weighted kappa statistic of self-reported sun exposure ranged from 0.43 to 0.74. Recall of childhood/adolescent sun exposure by standardized questioning was no less reproducible than recall of recent adult sun exposure and no less reliable when made with the calendar method. Comparing the questionnaire and calendar method, the measures of childhood/adolescent sun exposure had a similar predictive validity for multiple sclerosis. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study provide further evidence that adults are able to recall past sun exposure with shown validity and reliability and present information about the possible reasons for the good reliability of recalled sun exposure measures. SN - 1055-9965 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16896046/Validity_and_reliability_of_adult_recall_of_past_sun_exposure_in_a_case_control_study_of_multiple_sclerosis_ L2 - http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&amp;pmid=16896046 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -