Agreement between oral contraceptive users and prescribers: implications for case-control studies
Case-control studies examining the effects of oral contraceptives (OC) are prone to misclassification bias due to errors in assessment of OC use. Concern about inaccurate exposure histories has increased since current studies require women to recall OC use over prolonged periods of time. In preparation for a case-control study of breast cancer and OC use, an investigation was carried out to assess agreement between women's lifetime histories of OC use (covering a period of up to 20 years) and prescribers' records. OC histories were obtained during personal interview with 218 women who had used OC at some point in their lives (127 breast cancer patients, 91 controls). Recall was aided by an album with color photographs of all OC marketed in the Netherlands from 1962 onwards (n = 65), and a calendar that covered the women's life span from date of birth to menopause. The participants were asked for the names of all physicians who prescribed OC for them. The rate of response from the prescribers was high (94%), but only half of the forms provided useful information. Patient-prescriber agreement on brand names (including dosage) was 70%. About half of the women agreed with their prescribers on starting dates to within less than a year's difference. Approximately the same percentage of agreement was found for stopping dates. Multiple linear regression indicated that agreement on brand names and dates of usage was lower for women of low socioeconomic status, for healthy women (as compared to breast cancer patients) and for periods of pill use that had to be recalled from the more distant past. Agreement on total duration of use was high enough to permit testing of a moderately strong duration-response relationship in a case-control study.
|Keywords||0 (Contraceptives, Oral), Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Case-Control Studies, Comparative Study, Contraceptives, Oral/*administration & dosage, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, Human, Methods, Middle Aged, Netherlands, Prescriptions, Drug/*statistics & numerical data, Regression Analysis, Social Class, Time Factors|
van Leeuwen, F.E., van Duijn, C.M., Camps, M.H., Kempers, B.A., Mentjens, M.F., Mulder, H.B., … Rookus, M.A.. (1992). Agreement between oral contraceptive users and prescribers: implications for case-control studies. Contraception, 45, 399–408. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/5823