Validity of self-reported skin screening histories

Aitken, J. F., Youl, P. H., Janda, M., Elwood, M., Ring, I. T., Lowe, J. B. and Firman, D. W. (2004) Validity of self-reported skin screening histories. American Journal of Epidemiology, 159 11: 1098-1105. doi:10.1093/aje/kwh143

Author Aitken, J. F.
Youl, P. H.
Janda, M.
Elwood, M.
Ring, I. T.
Lowe, J. B.
Firman, D. W.
Title Validity of self-reported skin screening histories
Journal name American Journal of Epidemiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-9262
Publication date 2004-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/aje/kwh143
Volume 159
Issue 11
Start page 1098
End page 1105
Total pages 8
Editor M. Szklo
Place of publication United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
321299 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
730299 Public health not elsewhere classified
Abstract Screening by whole-body clinical skin examination may improve early diagnosis of melanoma and reduce mortality, but objective scientific evidence of this is lacking. As part of a randomized controlled trial of population screening for melanoma in Queensland, Australia, the authors assessed the validity of self-reported history of whole-body skin examination and factors associated with accuracy of recall among 2,704 participants in 2001. Approximately half of the participants were known to have undergone whole-body skin examination within the past 3 years at skin screening clinics conducted as part of the randomized trial. All positive and negative self-reports were compared with screening clinic records. Where possible, reports of skin examinations conducted outside the clinics were compared with private medical records. The validity of self-reports of whole-body skin examination in the past 3 years was high: Concordance between self-reports and medical records was 93.7%, sensitivity was 92.0%, and specificity was 96.3%. Concordance was lower (74.3%) for self-reports of examinations conducted in the past 12 months, and there was evidence of telescoping in recall for this more recent time frame. In multivariate analysis, women and younger participants more accurately recalled their history of skin examinations. Participants with a history of melanoma did not differ from other participants in their accuracy of recall.
Keyword Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Mass Screening
Mental Recall
Sensitivity And Specificity
Q-Index Code C1

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