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Retrospective smoking history data collection for deceased workers: completeness and accuracy of surrogate reports.
J Occup Environ Med 2002 Oct; 64(10):915-923
Few studies have considered the completeness and accuracy of smoking histories from surrogates for deceased workers. We surveyed 68 surrogates for uranium plant workers who completed smoking histories before their deaths. Completeness: 96% of surrogates answered definitively (yes or no) about overall smoking status (e.g., used any tobacco type), and 79 to 100% of those answered definitively about specific tobacco types. Of those reporting positive history, 50% to 67% answered detailed questions. Accuracy: Surrogates were accurate about overall smoking status (Kappa (kappa) = 0.75) compared with index self-report, but tended to underreport (P = 0.10). Spouses and nonspouses performed similarly. Accuracy by tobacco type was moderate (kappa = 0.21 to 0.56), with cigar smoking underreported. Surrogates for cigarette smokers underreported duration and amount smoked. Surrogates for deceased workers can report accurately on overall smoking status, but underreport other smoking habits.
Exposure-levels; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Cigarette-smoking; Risk-analysis
University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, P.O. Box 670056, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056, USA
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division