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Reliability of retrospectively assessed categorical menstrual cycle length data.
Bachand AM; Cragin LA; Reif JS
Ann Epidemiol 2009 Jul; 19(7):501-503
PURPOSE: Prospective diaries have been shown to be more reliable than retrospective questionnaires for the assessment of menstrual cycle length collected as continuous data. We investigated the reliability of retrospectively collected categorical cycle length data. METHODS: In 2005, 67 women from Illinois and Vermont completed a menstrual diary and retrospective questionnaire. Based on commonly used cutpoints for normal cycle length, we created 2-, 3- and 4-category cycle length variables, calculated percent agreement, Cohen's kappa and prevalence index and investigated factors associated with accurate reporting. RESULTS: Overall agreement between diary and questionnaire responses was highest for the 2-category cycle length variable, <=35 vs. > 35 days (93%), and the 3-category variable, <25, 25-35 and > 35 days (82%). While Cohen's kappa fell below 0.6, its magnitude was limited by a high prevalence of "normal"" cycle length. Women with regular cycles were slightly more likely to have concordant responses. CONCLUSIONS: In epidemiologic studies where cycle length categories are of interest, the limitations of prospective diaries in terms of cost, compliance, attrition and power must be carefully weighed against the potentially decreased reliability of questionnaire data.
Epidemiology; Menstrual-disorders; Questionnaires; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis; Women; Author Keywords: Reliability (Epidemiology); Menstrual Cycle; Questionnaires; Research Design
Annette M. Bachand, Colorado State University, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, 1681 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681
Cooperative Agreement; Agriculture
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Annals of Epidemiology
Colorado State University - Ft. Collins
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