Concordance between medical records and personal interview in ascertaining breast cancer and diabetes status: Analysis of the south Texas women's health project
Accurate ascertainment of risk factors and disease status is vital in public health research for proper classification of research subjects. The two most common ways of obtaining this data is by self-report and review of medical records (MRs). South Texas Women’s Health Project was a case-control study looking at interrelationships between hormones, diet, and body size and breast cancer among Hispanic women 30-79 years of age. History of breast cancer, diabetes mellitus (DM) and use of DM medications was ascertained from a personal interview. At the time of interview, the subject identified her major health care providers and signed the medical records release form, which was sent to the designated providers. The MRs were reviewed to confirm information obtained from the interview. Aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity between MRs and personal interview in diagnosis of breast cancer, DM and DM treatment. We also wanted to assess how successful our low-cost approach was in obtaining pertinent MRs and what factors influenced the quality of MR or interview data. Study sample was 721 women with both self-report and MR data available by June 2007. Overall response rate for MR requests was 74.5%. MRs were 80.9% sensitive and 100% specific in confirming breast cancer status. Prevalence of DM was 22.7% from the interviews and 16% from MRs. MRs did not provide definite information about DM status of 53.6% subjects. Sensitivity and specificity of MRs for DM status was 88.9% and 90.4% respectively. Disagreement on DM status from the two sources was seen in 15.9% subjects. This discordance was more common among older subjects, those who were married and were predominantly Spanish speaking. Income and level of education did not have a statistically significantly association with this disagreement. Both self-report and MRs underestimate the prevalence of DM. Relying solely on MRs leads to greater misclassification than relying on self-report data. MRs have good to excellent specificity and thus serve as a good tool to confirm information obtained from self-report. Self-report and MRs should be used in a complementary manner for accurate assessment of DM and breast cancer status.
Gupta, Varun, "Concordance between medical records and personal interview in ascertaining breast cancer and diabetes status: Analysis of the south Texas women's health project" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1479637.