• Article

Maternal recall error in retrospectively reported time-to-pregnancy An assessment and bias analysis

BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies of fecundability often use retrospectively measured time-to-pregnancy (TTP), thereby introducing potential for recall error. Little is known about how recall error affects the bias and precision of the fecundability odds ratio (FOR) in such studies. METHODS: Using data from the Danish Snart-Gravid Study (2007-12), we quantified error for TTP recalled in the first trimester of pregnancy relative to prospectively measured TTP among 421 women who enrolled at the start of their pregnancy attempt and became pregnant within 12 months. We defined recall error as retrospectively measured TTP minus prospectively measured TTP. Using linear regression, we assessed mean differences in recall error by maternal characteristics. We evaluated the resulting bias in the FOR and 95% confidence interval (CI) using simulation analyses that compared corrected and uncorrected retrospectively measured TTP values. RESULTS: Recall error (mean = -0.11 months, 95% CI -0.25, 0.04) was not appreciably associated with maternal age, gravidity, or recent oral contraceptive use. Women with TTP > 2 months were more likely to underestimate their TTP than women with TTP


Radin, RG., Rothman, K., Hatch, EE., Mikkelsen, EM., Sorensen, HT., Riis, AH., ... Wise, LA. (2015). Maternal recall error in retrospectively reported time-to-pregnancy: An assessment and bias analysis. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 29(6), 576-588. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppe.12245

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