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Epidemiology. 1999 Nov;10(6):774-7.

Reproducibility and validity of maternal recall of pregnancy-related events.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


We assessed the reproducibility and validity of a questionnaire that asks mothers to recall pregnancy-related events from thirty or more years ago. Among 146 women who completed the questionnaire twice, responses were highly reproducible for pre-pregnancy height and weight (r = 0.95), pregnancy complications (r = 0.74), substance use (r = 0.80), preterm delivery (r = 0.82), birthweight (r = 0.94), and breastfeeding (r = 0.89). Among 154 women whose questionnaire responses were compared to data collected during their pregnancies, recall was highly accurate for height (r = 0.90), pre-pregnancy weight (r = 0.86), birthweight (r = 0.91), and smoking (sensitivity = 0.86, specificity = 0.94). These findings suggest that long-term maternal recall is both reproducible and accurate for many factors related to pregnancy and delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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