Agreement in reporting of asthma by parents or offspring – the RHINESSA generation study

Research article,Open Access, Open Peer Review
Ingrid N. KuiperCecilie SvanesBryndis BenediktsdottirRandi J. BertelsenLennart BråbäckShyamali C. DharmageMathias HolmChrister JansonRain JögiAndrei MalinovschiMelanie MathesonJesús Martínez MoratallaFrancisco Gómez RealJosé Luis Sánchez-RamosVivi SchlünssenSigne Timm and Ane Johannessen

Open Peer Review reports

Abstract

Background

Self-report questionnaires are commonly used in epidemiology, but may be susceptible to misclassification, especially if answers are given on behalf of others, e.g. children or parents. The aim was to determine agreement and analyse predictors of disagreement in parents’ reports of offspring asthma, and in offspring reports of parents’ asthma.

Methods

In the Respiratory Health in Northern Europe, Spain and Australia (RHINESSA) generation study, 6752 offspring (age range 18–51 years) and their parents (age range 39–66 years) reported their own and each other’s asthma status. Agreement between asthma reports from offspring and parents was determined by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value and Cohen’s kappa. The participants’ own answers regarding themselves were defined as the gold standard. To investigate predictors for disagreement logistic regression analyses were performed to obtain odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for sex, smoking status, education, comorbidity and severity of asthma.

Results

Agreement was good for parental report of offspring early onset asthma (< 10 years, Cohen’s kappa 0.72) and moderate for offspring later onset asthma (Cohen’s kappa 0.46). Specificity was 0.99 for both, and sensitivity was 0.68 and 0.36, respectively. For offspring report of maternal and paternal asthma the agreement was good (Cohen’s kappa 0.69 and 0.68), specificity was 0.96 and 0.97, and sensitivity was 0.72 and 0.68, respectively. The positive predictive value (PPV) was lowest for offspring report of maternal asthma (0.75), and highest for parents’ report of early onset asthma in the offspring (0.83). The negative predictive value (NPV) was high for all four groups (0.94–0.97). In multivariate analyses current smokers (OR = 1.46 [95% CI 1.05, 2.02]) and fathers (OR = 1.31 [95% CI 1.08, 1.59]) were more likely to report offspring asthma incorrectly. Offspring wheeze was associated with reporting parental asthma incorrectly (OR = 1.60 [95% CI 1.21, 2.11]), both under- and over reporting.

Conclusions

Asthma reports across generations show moderate to good agreement, making information from other generations a useful tool in the absence of direct reports.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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