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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jan;58(1):60-3.

Influence of the recall period on self-reported alcohol intake.

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  • 1National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, Denmark. oek@niph.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the accuracy of recall on self-reported alcohol intake.

DESIGN:

Population-based random sample.

SETTING:

The Danish Health and Morbidity Survey 1994.

SUBJECTS:

The study is based on 6,354 persons chosen at random among the adult Danish citizens. The response rate was 77%.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Number of alcoholic drinks consumed on each day during the last week.

RESULTS:

For self-reported alcohol intake on the last Saturday, respondents with a recall period of one day have the shortest recall period (reference group) and respondents with a recall period of seven days the longest. Respondents with a recall period of seven days reported significant lower alcohol intake (Odds Ratio: 0.56). The reported alcohol intake declines when the recall period increases. The decline in recall of alcohol intake is very clear already after 2-3 days.

CONCLUSION:

The systematic decrease in reported alcohol use with increased recall period indicates problems in correctly reporting alcohol intake for a full week. Many surveys use recall periods that are longer than a week and, therefore, underreported alcohol intake is expected to be even higher.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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