Temporal trends in symptom experience predict the accuracy of recall PROs

Schneider, Stefan; Broderick, Joan E.; Junghaenel, Doerte U.; Schwartz, Joseph E.; Stone, Arthur A.

Objective - Patient-reported outcome measures with reporting periods of a week or more are often used to evaluate the change of symptoms over time, but the accuracy of recall in the context of change is not well understood. This study examined whether temporal trends in symptoms that occur during the reporting period impact the accuracy of 7-day recall reports.

Methods - Women with premenstrual symptoms (n = 95) completed daily reports of anger, depression, fatigue, and pain intensity for 4 weeks, as well as 7-day recall reports at the end of each week. Latent class growth analysis was used to categorize recall periods based on the direction and rate of change in the daily reports. Agreement (level differences and correlations) between 7-day recall and aggregated daily scores was compared for recall periods with different temporal trends.

Results - Recall periods with positive, negative, and flat temporal trends were identified and they varied in accordance with weeks of the menstrual cycle. Replicating previous research, 7-day recall scores were consistently higher than aggregated daily scores, but this level difference was more pronounced for recall periods involving positive and negative trends compared with flat trends. Moreover, correlations between 7-day recall and aggregated daily scores were lower in the presence of positive and negative trends compared with flat trends. These findings were largely consistent for anger, depression, fatigue, and pain intensity.

Conclusion - Temporal trends in symptoms can influence the accuracy of recall reports and this should be considered in research designs involving change.


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Also Published In

Journal of Psychosomatic Research

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Published Here
September 16, 2016