Journal Article

Validity of Self-Reports of Reasons for Hospitalization by Young Adults and Risk Factors for Discordance with Medical Records

Atiq Rahman, Laura Gibney, Sharina D. Person, O. Dale Williams, Catarina Kiefe, Pauline Jolly and Jeffrey Roseman

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 5, pages 491-498
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Validity of Self-Reports of Reasons for Hospitalization by Young Adults and Risk Factors for Discordance with Medical Records

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This research focused on the validity of young adults' (mean age = 33 years; standard deviation, 3.9) self-reports of reasons for hospitalization and factors affecting validity in a longitudinal cohort study of over 5,000 young adults in four US cities (1985–1998). Self-reported reasons were considered discordant if they differed from those in medical records. Of the 321 self-reported hospitalizations, overall concordance was 92.5%; concordance ranged from 80% for infections to 100% for injuries/fractures and procedures/surgeries. There were no significant differences among mail, telephone, or face-to-face methods of collecting self-reports. In generalized estimating equations analyses, Black race (odds ratio = 4.23, 95% confidence interval: 1.72, 10.40; p = 0.002) and intravenous drug use (odds ratio = 6.06, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 31.22; p = 0.03) were positively associated with discordance. Nonetheless, self-reports by Blacks were 90.0% concordant. Self-reports by Whites were 95.7% concordant. These results suggest that young adults' self-reported reasons for hospitalization are overwhelmingly concordant with medical records. This has important implications, since obtaining medical records has become more costly and logistically difficult.

Keywords: cohort studies; data collection; hospitalization; longitudinal studies; medical records; reproducibility of results; CARDIA, Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults; CI, confidence interval; GEE, generalized estimating equations; ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; OR, odds ratio

Journal Article.  4981 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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