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Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Apr;24(4):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.12.015. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Evaluating the accuracy of a geographic closed-ended approach to ethnicity measurement, a practical alternative.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: omandj@smh.ca.
2
Division of Pediatric Medicine and the Pediatric Outcomes Research Team, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
3
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada; Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
4
Division of Pediatric Medicine and the Pediatric Outcomes Research Team, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada; Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada.
5
Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada.
6
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada; Division of Pediatric Medicine and the Pediatric Outcomes Research Team, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada; Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Measuring ethnicity accurately is important for identifying ethnicity variations in disease risk. We evaluated the degree of agreement and accuracy of maternal ethnicity measured using the new standardized closed-ended geographically based ethnicity question and geographic reclassification of open-ended ethnicity questions from the Canadian census.

METHODS:

A prospectively designed study of respondent agreement of mothers of healthy children aged 1-5 years recruited through the TARGet Kids! practice-based research network. For the primary analysis, the degree of agreement between geographic reclassification of the Canadian census maternal ethnicity variables and the new geographically based closed-ended maternal ethnicity variable completed by the same respondent was evaluated using a kappa analysis.

RESULTS:

Eight hundred sixty-two mothers who completed both measures of ethnicity were included in the analysis. The kappa agreement statistic for the two definitions of maternal ethnicity was 0.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.84-0.90) indicating good agreement. Overall accuracy of the measurement was 93%. Sensitivity and specificity ranged from 83% to 100% and 96% to 100%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The new standardized closed-ended geographically based ethnicity question represents a practical alternative to widely used open-ended ethnicity questions. It may reduce risk of misinterpretation of ethnicity by respondents, simplify analysis, and improve the accuracy of ethnicity measurement.

KEYWORDS:

Child health; Children; Ethnicity; Kappa statistic; Measurement error; Pediatrics

PMID:
24529516
DOI:
10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.12.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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