Purpose: Self-reported measurement tools often provide a recall period, eg "In the past 7 days…" For lower urinary tract symptoms the concordance of end of day (daily) reports with 7 and 30-day recalled reports is unknown to our knowledge. We evaluated how accurately 7 or 30-day recall questions capture lower urinary tract symptoms.
Materials and methods: The 261 female and 254 male participants were recruited from a total of 6 United States tertiary care sites. We evaluated 18 items representing 7 symptoms covering storage, voiding and post-micturition symptoms. Item responses on the daily forms were averaged for a 7 or a 30-day period and compared to the corresponding 7 or 30-day recall version of the item. Analyses were item and gender specific. Within person concordance was assessed using the Pearson correlation. Bias (systematic overreporting or underreporting) was calculated as the difference between the recalled item and the averaged daily item score, and reported as a percent of the item scale.
Results: All correlations exceeded 0.60. Correlations between averaged daily reports and recalled reports ranged from 0.72 to 0.89 for 7 days and from 0.71 to 0.91 for 30 days among women, and from 0.68 to 0.90 and 0.68 to 0.95, respectively, among men. Most items did not show systematic bias and the median percent bias did not exceed 10% for any item. However, bias exceeding ±10% for some items was observed in a subset of individuals.
Conclusions: Recalled reports during the 7 and 30 days tracked well with averaged daily reports for men and women. Systematic bias was minimal, suggesting that 7 and 30-day recall periods for self-reported lower urinary tract symptoms are reasonable.
Keywords: lower urinary tract symptoms; mental recall; observer variation; time factors.