The reliability of self-reported sexual behaviour

AIDS. 1991 Mar;5(3):333-6. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199103000-00016.


The quality of data collected by surveys of sexual behaviour may be subject to sources of error involving reliability, validity, and non-participation bias. A preliminary study of sexual behaviour, including perception of risk for HIV infection, knowledge of HIV transmission and attitudes towards AIDS, was conducted in a genitourinary medicine clinic. The sample comprised 767 patients attending clinic over a 3-month period; comparisons were made between different methods of data collection (questionnaires and interviews) and between responders and non-responders. High levels of agreement were found between questionnaire and interview. Some sexual behaviours were more frequently reported at interview. No significant differences were found between responders and non-responders to either questionnaire or interview.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom