Inconsistency in the Self-report of Chronic Diseases in Panel Surveys: Developing an Adjudication Method for the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleInconsistency in the Self-report of Chronic Diseases in Panel Surveys: Developing an Adjudication Method for the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCigolle, CT, Nagel, CL, Blaum, CS, Liang, J, Quiñones, AR
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2018 06 14
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsAged, Chronic disease, Data Accuracy, Epidemiologic Methods, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Self Report

Objectives: Chronic disease data from longitudinal health interview surveys are frequently used in epidemiologic studies. These data may be limited by inconsistencies in self-report by respondents across waves. We examined disease inconsistencies in the Health and Retirement Study and investigated a multistep method of adjudication. We hypothesized a greater likelihood of inconsistences among respondents with cognitive impairment, of underrepresented race/ethnic groups, having lower education, or having less income/wealth.

Method: We analyzed Waves 1995-2010, including adults 51 years and older (N = 24,156). Diseases included hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and arthritis. We used questions about the diseases to formulate a multistep adjudication method to resolve inconsistencies across waves.

Results: Thirty percent had inconsistency in their self-report of diseases across waves, with cognitive impairment, proxy status, age, Hispanic ethnicity, and wealth as key predictors. Arthritis and hypertension had the most frequent inconsistencies; stroke and cancer, the fewest. Using a stepwise method, we adjudicated 60%-75% of inconsistent responses.

Discussion: Discrepancies in the self-report of diseases across multiple waves of health interview surveys are common. Differences in prevalence between original and adjudicated data may be substantial for some diseases and for some groups, (e.g., the cognitively impaired).

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key8552
PubMed ID27260670
PubMed Central IDPMC6283309
Grant ListR03 AG048852 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K08 AG031837 / NIA NIH HHS / National Institute on Aging / United States
R25 HL105430 / NHLBI NIH HHS / National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute / United States