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Article
Respiratory Symptom Reporting Error in Occupational Surveillance of Older Farmers
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2009)
  • Steven R Browning, University of Kentucky
  • Nancy E. Johnson, University of Kentucky
  • Susan M. Westneat, University of Kentucky
  • T. Scott Prince, University of Kentucky
  • Mark B. Dignan, University of Kentucky
Abstract
Objective: Agricultural health studies often use respiratory symptom report as a surrogate measure of disease and exposure; little data exists on the accuracy of symptom report in a work-motivated population. Methods: Screening spirometry and telephone survey data for Kentucky male farmers >55 year (n = 134) in the NIOSH Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Project were compared to investigate the accuracy of symptom report as a measure of respiratory disease risk in older farmers. Results: The prevalence of reported obstructive respiratory symptoms was 0.24 (95% CI = 0.17 to 0.31); objective measures increased prevalence to 0.35 (95% CI = 0.27 to 0.43). Customary symptom questions did not reliably reflect objective indicators of respiratory impairment. Conclusions: Older farmers may not accurately report respiratory symptoms. Whether by intention or misinterpretation of physical cues, self-reporting errors in this population may introduce misclassification bias.
Keywords
  • Respiratory symptoms,
  • Spirometry,
  • Kentucky,
  • Lung diseases
Publication Date
April, 2009
Citation Information
Steven R Browning, Nancy E. Johnson, Susan M. Westneat, T. Scott Prince, et al.. "Respiratory Symptom Reporting Error in Occupational Surveillance of Older Farmers" Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Vol. 51 Iss. 4 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steven_browning/9/