Reproducibility of an FFQ validated in Spain

Public Health Nutr. 2010 Sep;13(9):1364-72. doi: 10.1017/S1368980009993065. Epub 2010 Jan 28.


Objective: To evaluate the reproducibility of a semi-quantitative FFQ used in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) project.

Design: The data that were analysed were collected from an FFQ answered twice by a 326-participant subsample of the SUN project (115 men, 35.3 %; 211 women, 64.7 %), with either less than 1 year or more than 1 year between responses. The questionnaire included 136 items. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were calculated to evaluate the magnitude of the association between both measures after energy adjustment and correcting for within-person variability. We also evaluated misclassification by quintiles distribution.

Results: The highest corrected correlations among participants who answered before 1 year were found for PUFA (r = 0.99). Among participants who answered after 1 year between both questionnaires, olive oil had the highest corrected correlation (r = 0.99). The highest percentage of gross misclassification, lowest quintile in FFQ1 and highest quintile in FFQ2 or highest quintile in FFQ1 and lowest quintile in FFQ2 was for cereals, fish or seafood, and n-3 fatty acids (7.6 %). Alcoholic drinks had the highest percentage of reasonable classification, same or adjacent quintile, in FFQ1 and FFQ2 (86.4 %).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that FFQ reproducibility is acceptable for participants who answered the same questionnaire twice less than 1 year apart. Participants who answered FFQ more than 1 year apart showed worse values on reproducibility. We consider this Spanish FFQ as an important, valid and reproducible tool in nutritional epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet, Mediterranean / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys / instrumentation*
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*