Validity of occupational histories obtained by interview with female workers

Am J Ind Med. 1991;19(4):523-30. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700190409.


This study measured the validity of work histories obtained by interview with 84 female workers and examined specific factors which influence such validity. This is the first validation of work histories collected by interviews with women. The validity of each interview was assessed over a period of 29 years, from 1955 to 1983. The information provided by the worker was compared annually to job information registered in public and union records. On the average, interviews yielded the correct information (either employer's name or nonworking year) for 81% of the person years of these subjects. However, there was a time effect; the average validity score for recent employment (1972-1983) was 89%, while that for employment in the more distant past (1955-1971) was 74%. Furthermore, workers who had fewer jobs, had longer durations of employment, and were non-French speaking had higher validity scores. Most of these findings are consistent with previous studies conducted among male respondents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Quebec
  • Reproducibility of Results