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Health Transit Rev. 1994;4 Suppl:93-110.

Reliability and validity of survey data on sexual behaviour.

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  • 1Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.


The contribution of structured interview surveys to the monitoring of changes in risk behaviour is a crucial issue for the evaluation of HIV control programmes. A review is made of studies that have attempted to assess the reliability and validity of self-reported sexual behaviour. Evidence from developed-country studies is encouraging; in general the quality of responses appears to be as high as that found in studies of other topics. In developing countries, there have been fewer studies and results are more varied. One clear lesson is that survey execution must be of a very high standard; as in all survey research, but particularly in the case of sex surveys, poor standards of design and execution will yield untrustworthy data.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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