Exposure measurement error and its effects

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:
Exposure measurement error and its effects

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Exposure measurement error in an epidemiologic study can lead to substantial bias in the risk ratio or other measure of association between the exposure and outcome. In this chapter the parameters used to quantify the validity (degree of measurement error) of an exposure measure are described. These parameters are computed by comparing the measured exposure to a perfect measure of the true exposure in a population. Bias (difference between means of the measured and true exposure) and the validity coefficient (correlation between them) are appropriate for continuous exposure variables, and the misclassification matrix for categorical variables. The chapter then discusses how these parameters can be used to estimate the effects of this degree of measurement error on the bias in the risk ratio in the epidemiological study that will use (or has used) the measured exposure. The effects of both differential and non-differential measurement error are covered.

Keywords: misclassification bias; information bias; recall bias; validity studies; validity coefficient; bias; precision; misclassification matrix; sensitivity; specificity

Chapter.  10683 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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