Daily self-reports resulted in information bias when assessing exposure duration to computer use.
Chang-C-H; Menendez-CC; Robertson-MM; Amick-BC III; Johnson-PW; del Pino-RJ; Dennerlein-JT
Am J Ind Med 2010 Nov; 53(11):1142-1149
Background: Self-reported exposure duration to computer use is widely used in exposure assessment, and this study examined the associated information bias in a repeated measures setting. Methods: For 3 weeks, 30 undergraduate students reported daily cumulative computer-use duration and musculoskeletal symptoms at four random times per day. Usage-monitor software installed onto participant's personal computers provided the reference measure. We compared daily self-reported and software-recorded duration, and modeled the effect of musculoskeletal symptoms on observed differences. Results: The relationships between daily self-reported and software-recorded computer use duration varied greatly across subject with Spearman's correlations ranging from -0.22 to 0.8. Self-reports generally overestimated computer use when software-recorded durations were less than 3.6 hr, and underestimated when above 3.6 hr. Experiencing symptoms was related to a 0.15-hr increase in self-reported duration after controlling for software-recorded duration. Conclusions: Daily self-reported computer-use duration had a weak-to-moderate correlation with software-recorded duration, and their relationship changed slightly with musculoskeletal symptoms. Self-reports resulted in both non-differential and differential information bias.
Biomechanics; Computer-equipment; Computers; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Muscles; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Posture; Quantitative-analysis; Repetitive-work; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Time-weighted-average-exposure;
Author Keywords: exposure assessment; musculoskeletal disorders; computer use; self-report;
Jack Dennerlein, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts