Effect of recall period on the reporting of occupational injuries among older workers in the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleEffect of recall period on the reporting of occupational injuries among older workers in the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsZwerling, C, Sprince, NL, Wallace, RB, Davis, CS, Whitten, PS, Heeringa, SG
JournalAm J Ind Med
Date Published1995 Nov
ISSN Number0271-3586
KeywordsAccidents, Occupational, Adult, Aged, Bias, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data collection, Female, Humans, Incidence, Linear Models, Male, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Models, Statistical, Reproducibility of Results, Retirement, Risk Factors, Time Factors, United States

Studies of injury morbidity often rely on self-reported survey data. In designing these surveys, researchers must chose between a shorter recall period to minimize recall bias and a longer period to maximize the precision of rate estimates. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, which employed a recall period of 1 year, we examined the effect of the recall period on rates of occupational injuries among older workers as well as upon rate ratios of these injuries for nine risk factors. We fit a stochastic model to the occupational injury rates as a function of time before the interview and used this model to estimate what the injury rates would have been had we used a 4-week recall period. The adjusted occupational injury rate of 5.9 injuries per 100 workers per year was 36% higher than the rate based on a 1-year recall period. Adjustment for recall period had much less effect on rate ratios, which typically varied by < 10%. Our work suggests that self-reported surveys with longer recall periods may be used to estimate occupational injury rates and also may be useful in studying the associations between occupational injuries and a variety of risk factors.

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Endnote Keywords

Accidents, Occupational/Adult/Bias (Epidemiology)/Morbidity/Gender/Incidence/Middle Age/Models, Statistical/Recall/Reproducibility of Results/Retirement/Risk Factors/Support, U.S. Government--PHS/Time Factors

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalAm J Ind Med
Citation Key6534
PubMed ID8561168
Grant ListR49/CCR703640-04 / / PHS HHS / United States