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Am J Public Health. 1994 Oct;84(10):1576-9.

Estimates of population smoking prevalence: self-vs proxy reports of smoking status.

Author information

1
Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0901.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

In the face of rising costs of surveillance systems, it is time to reexamine the feasibility of including proxy respondents in surveys designed to provide population estimates of smoking prevalence.

METHODS:

Data are from the California. Tobacco Surveys, which are random-digit dialed telephone surveys. One adult provided demographic information and smoking status for all household residents. Additionally, some adults were selected for in-depth interviews that also included smoking status questions. We matched information from proxy respondents and self-respondents and evaluated smoking status discrepancies between them relative to demographic and other factors (n = 2930 matched pairs) in 1992. We address the potential bias these discrepancies might introduce into the population estimate of smoking prevalence.

RESULTS:

Overall, the discrepancy between proxy report and self-report was 4.3%, and it increased particularly when the self-respondent reported nondaily smoking or recent quitting. Discrepancies acted in both directions, and the net bias was that the screener survey overestimated smoking prevalence by 0.1% in 1992 (0.3% in 1990).

CONCLUSIONS:

Smoking status questions can be added to ongoing surveys such as the census or labor force surveys; one adult could provide smoking status for all household members.

PMID:
7943473
PMCID:
PMC1615093
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.84.10.1576
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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