Validation of Parent Self Reported Home Safety Practices

This paper reports on a validation study conducted to determine the reliability of parents' self-reported home safety practices. As part of a randomized controlled trial to improve patient-provider communication and preventive practices, parents' responses to telephone interviews were compared with observations of safety practices during a home visit. The safety practices observed included the presence of smoke detectors, water heater temperature, car seat use and bike helmet use. Home visits were completed within 9 weeks of the telephone interview. Parents were not told that the visit was part of a validation study and home visit observers were unaware of the interview responses. The authors calculated sensitivities, specificities, positive and negative predictive values and their corresponding confidence intervals. Sensitivity and positive predictive values were high for all items. Specificities and negative predictive values were more variable. The highest estimates were for car seat types. Parent self-reports of some safety practices, including owning a car seat and safe hot water temperatures, appeared to be reliable. However, self-reports on other practices, such as working smoke detectors and properly fitted bike helmets, may be overstated. These findings suggest that studies relying on self-reports should include an observational component to strengthen findings.

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  • Authors:
    • Robertson, A S
    • Rivara, F P
    • Ebel, B E
    • Lymp, J F
    • Christakis, D A
  • Publication Date: 2005-8


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01003394
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2005 11:02PM