Lower agreement on behavioral factors than on medical conditions in self-reported data among pregnant Latina women

Arch Med Res. May-Jun 2004;35(3):241-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2004.01.002.


Background: Agreement between self-reported data and data obtained from medical records is far from perfect and few studies have analyzed the element of language when self-reported data are given in one language and this information is recorded in another language in the medical record. Our objective was to assess agreement between self-reported data and medical record data with regard to prenatal risk factors in pregnant Latina women.

Methods: We interviewed 350 Latina women at >or =20 weeks' gestation regarding alcohol use, tobacco use, use of prenatal vitamins, age, education, use of prenatal care, and medical conditions. Kappa statistic (kappa) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to calculate agreement between self-reported responses and medical record data. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate effect of maternal characteristics on likelihood of disagreement.

Results: Agreement between self-reported and medical record data was generally lower for behavioral factors (alcohol kappa=0.37 and prenatal vitamin use kappa=0.09) than for medical conditions (anemia kappa=0.63, gestational diabetes kappa=0.83, and hypertension kappa=0.68). In general, maternal characteristics did not significantly predict patterns of disagreement.

Conclusions: Among pregnant Latina women, self-reported data on behavioral factors had lower agreement than self-reported data on medical conditions. Further study is needed to define the effect of other factors, such as social norms, on accuracy of self-reported data during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Behavior
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnant Women
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Vitamins


  • Vitamins