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Knowledge of medical history information among proxy respondents for deceased study subjects.

Authors
Tepper-A; Connally-LB; Haltmeier-P; Smith-E; Sweeney-MH
Source
J Clin Epidemiol 1993 Nov; 46(11):1243-1248
NIOSHTIC No.
00238998
Abstract
The reliability of medical information collected from proxy respondents for deceased occupational health study subjects was investigated. A cohort of 586 workers from two chemical manufacturing factories (who had worked at least 1 day in either factory after 1955) was used in this study. A list of occupational exposure related health effects was collected from each living member of the study group. For the 147 deceased study subjects, occupational exposure health effect data were collected from a proxy respondent. Selection of proxy respondent was made on the basis of death certificate information, and information collected from newspaper obituaries and funeral directors. Proxy respondents were contacted via mail and telephone, and those who agreed to participate in the study were administered a questionnaire regarding the decedent's demographic characteristics, personal habits, and occupational and medical history. The information collected from the proxy respondents was compared to decedent's medical record data. Of the 147 first proxy respondents contacted, 96 participated in the study and 73 were able to identify potential second proxy respondents. Of these potential second proxy respondents, 59 participated in the study. Questionnaire nonresponses were lowest among spouses, and highest among friends and nonimmediate relatives. Agreement of response between paired respondents was high regarding such conditions as ulcer, cancer, diabetes, and lung disease. From this study the authors conclude that the use of proxy respondents as sources of medical information on deceased study subjects can be problematic, and that an effort should be made to select a proxy respondent best suited to provide the medical information needed.
Keywords
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-200-85-2849; Epidemiology; Medical-surveys; Occupational-health; Occupational-Exposure; Chemical-industry-workers; Questionnaires; Author Keywords: Epidemiologic methods; Medical records; Proxy respondents; Agreement
CODEN
JCEPEE
Publication Date
19931101
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Contract
Fiscal Year
1994
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Contract-200-85-2849
Issue of Publication
11
ISSN
0895-4356
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
State
OH; NJ
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