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J Clin Epidemiol. 2007 Oct;60(10):1040-5. Epub 2007 May 17.

Assisted self-report of health-services use showed excellent reliability in a longitudinal study of older adults.

Author information

1
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. marie-france.dubois@usherbrooke.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Seniors use a wide variety of health services delivered by numerous practitioners and organizations. Self-report is the most accessible and cost-effective method to collect information on their use. It is thus important to demonstrate the reliability of this approach.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:

As part of a longitudinal study on the effect of an integrated service delivery system, participants (or their proxies) were instructed to use a calendar to record their use of health services. Every 2 months, an interviewer collected use since the last phone contact. A subsample was recontacted by the same or another interviewer to estimate test-retest and interinterviewer reliability, respectively. Data collections were compared using delta and weighted kappa as well as intraclass correlation coefficients.

RESULTS:

Almost perfect agreement was obtained for hospitalization, day surgery, visits to general practitioners and medical specialists, help for home maintenance, and use of voluntary services. Agreement was substantial for visits to the emergency room and home help for personal care. For visits to or by nurses and other health professionals, agreement can be qualified as moderate-to-substantial.

CONCLUSION:

Assisted self-report of health-services use by older adults or their proxies through bimonthly phone calls is reliable.

PMID:
17884599
DOI:
10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.12.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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