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Cherpitel CJ, Ye Y, Stockwell T, Vallance K, Chow C. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2018; 37(3): 382-388.


Centre for Addictions Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Recall bias is a concern in self-reported alcohol consumption, potentially accounting for varying risk estimates for injury in emergency department (ED) studies. The likelihood of reporting drinking for the same 6-h period each day of the week for a full week preceding the injury event is analysed among injured ED patients. DESIGN AND METHODS: Probability samples of patients 18 years old and older were interviewed in two ED sites in Vancouver and one in Victoria, BC (n = 1191). Generalized estimating equation modelling was used to predict the likelihood of reporting drinking for the same 6-h period prior to the injury event for each day of the week, compared to day 7 as the reference recall day, for a full week preceding the event. Recall by frequency of drinking and frequency of heavy drinking was analysed.

RESULTS: Drinking was significantly more likely to be reported for each of the first 3 days of recall compared to 7-day recall and highest for 1-day recall (odds ration 1.55; = 0.002). Patients who reported ≥ weekly drinking and 5+ drinking < monthly were significantly more likely to report drinking for each of the first 3 days of recall (compared to 7-day recall).

DISCUSSION: Findings suggest the first 3 days prior to injury may be a less biased multiple-matched control period than longer periods of recall in case-crossover studies.

CONCLUSION: Length of accurate recall may be important to consider in case-crossover analysis and other study designs that rely on patient self-report such as the Timeline Followback. [Cherpitel CJ, Ye Y, Stockwell T, Vallance K, Chow C. Recall bias across 7 days in self-reported alcohol consumption prior to injury among emergency department patients. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000].

© 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Language: en


emergency department; injury; recall bias; study design


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