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Reliability and Stability of Mothers' Reports about their Pregnancies with Twins

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Wendy Reich
Affiliation:
Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, USA. wendyr@twins.wustl.edu
Richard D. Todd
Affiliation:
Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, USA.
Cynthia A. Joyner
Affiliation:
Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, USA.
Rosalind J. Neuman
Affiliation:
Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, USA.
Andrew C. Heath
Affiliation:
Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St Louis, USA.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine if mothers' retrospective reports about events in their pregnancies with twins are reliable and stable. Six hundred and twenty-four mothers completed psychiatric interviews about their twins. These interviews also contained questions about the mothers' pregnancies, the perinatal period, and the child's early development. The mothers reported first on one twin and then on the other with interviews spaced from 3 days to 2 weeks apart. Thus mothers reported on the same pregnancy twice. Of these mothers, 47 were re-interviewed 6 to 18 months later by raters blind to the results of the initial interview. The twin design allowed us to compare the short-term reliability of the 624 mothers' reports of the same pregnancy. The re-interview of the 47 mothers enabled us to compare the stability of reports over a longer time period. Agreement between the reports was measured with the kappa statistic. Kappas were good to excellent for the short-term reports of pregnancy for each twin for the 624 mothers. Kappas were equally high for the 47 mothers that were re-interviewed 6 to 18 months later. Mothers show good reliability and stability of reporting about events during pregnancy.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003

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