How accurate is male recall of reproductive information?

Michael T. Coughlin, Ronald E. LaPorte, Leslie A. O'Leary, Peter Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine how well men recall reproductive information. By using a questionnaire, the authors surveyed men who had undergone orchiopexy for undescended testes and a group of matched control men, all of whom had had surgery at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (n = 77), and their spouses. Subjects were a random subset of a larger (n = 1,212) male fertility study, which has been ongoing since 1992. In 1994, the spouses of men who participated in the study completed a short telephone survey that contained questions previously asked of their partners. Pearson correlations and kappa statistics were calculated to evaluate the accuracy of male recall of reproductive information. For the continuous measures, such as time to conception and frequency of intercourse, the correlations were high to moderate (r = 0.84 (p < 0.001) and r = 0.45 (p < 0.001), respectively). Agreement between the men and their spouses on the majority of bivariate (yes/no) questions, such as those concerning the use of birth control, as measured by the kappa statistic, was moderate to very good (κ ranged from 0.14 to 0.69). Statistics were similar for formerly cryptorchid and control men. Male participants' responses to questions about their reproductive histories were accurate as compared with the responses given by their spouses. In this sample from a large cohort study, men appeared to recall reproductive information with acceptable accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-809
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


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