Medical record validation of maternal recall of pregnancy and birth events from a twin cohort

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2013 Aug;16(4):845-60. doi: 10.1017/thg.2013.31. Epub 2013 Jun 3.


This study aims to assess the validity of maternal recall for several perinatal variables 8-10 years after pregnancy in a twin sample. Retrospective information was collected 8-10 years after the delivery event in a cohort of mothers from the University of Southern California Twin Study (N = 611) and compared with medical records for validity analysis. Recall of most variables showed substantial to perfect agreement (κ = 0.60-1.00), with notable exceptions for specific medical problems during pregnancy (κ ≤ 0.40) and substance use when mothers provided continuous data (e.g., number of cigarettes per day; r ≤ 0.24). With the exception of delivery method, neonatal intensive care unit admission, birth weight, neonatal information, and post-delivery complications were also recalled with low accuracy. For mothers of twins, maternal recall is generally a valid measure for perinatal variables 10 years after pregnancy. However, caution should be taken regarding variables such as substance use, medical problems, birth length, and post-delivery complications.

Publication types

  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy, Twin
  • Reproductive History*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Twins*
  • Validation Studies as Topic