Reliability and validity of women's recall of mammographic screening

Aust N Z J Public Health. 2000 Feb;24(1):79-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842x.2000.tb00728.x.


Objective: To assess the reliability and validity of self-reported attendance for mammographic screening.

Methods: To assess reliability of recall of attendance for a screening mammogram, 100 women selected at random were interviewed twice (approximately one week apart). To assess validity, 127 women who reported having a mammogram within the national breast screening program (BreastScreen Australia) consented to having their reports verified by the national program.

Results: Test-retest reliability for the question "Have you ever had a mammogram?" was perfect (agreement 100%, kappa 1). Validity was also high. About one-quarter of women (24.4%) recalled the exact date of their last mammogram and a further third (39.4%) correctly reported the month in which the mammogram was done. Almost all (91.3%) women reported the mammogram date accurately to within 12 months of the recorded date.

Conclusions: These data suggest that Australian women provide reliable and valid information in relation to mammographic screening attendance.

Implications: Self-reported data about attendance for mammographic screening are likely to provide reliable and valid estimates for research and health services evaluation purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mammography / psychology*
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Women / psychology*