Methods of exposure measurement

Emily White, Bruce K. Armstrong and Rodolfo Saracci

in Principles of Exposure Measurement in Epidemiology

Second edition

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780198509851
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723827 | DOI:
Methods of exposure measurement

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A variety of subjective and objective methods of exposure measurement are used in epidemiology. They include personal interviews, self-administered questionnaires, diaries of behaviour, reference to records, physical or chemical measurements on the subject, physical or chemical measurements in the environment and, infrequently, direct observation of the subject's behaviour. The issues that must be considered in choosing a method for a particular study are outlined. In addition to costs, the choice of a method is influenced by the type of study to be undertaken, the amount of detail required by the study's objectives, the frequency and impact of the exposure on the subjects' lives, the sensitivity of the topic, the variability in the level of exposure over time, and the accuracy of the methods that are available to measure the specific exposure of interest. The choice among face-to-face interview, telephone interview, and self-administered questionnaire is dealt with in detail.

Keywords: in-person interview; telephone interview; self-administered questionnaire; diaries; medical records; laboratory measures; environmental measures; direct observation; sensitive questions; computer-assisted interview

Chapter.  10422 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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