Background: Recall bias is likely to occur in vaccine effectiveness studies using self-reported vaccination history. The validity of patient-reported vaccination status for adults is not well defined. The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of self-reported pneumococcal vaccination history among patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
Methods: Prospective ancillary study of a population-based observational study of hospitalized patients with CAP in the city of Louisville. To be included in the analysis, patients had to (i) be reached by phone 30-days after discharge from the hospital and (ii) report that they remembered whether or not they received a pneumococcal vaccine in the past five years. The vaccination history was classified as 1) Subjective: patient recollection, or 2) Objective: vaccination records from insurance companies or primary care physicians.
Results: A total of 2,787 patients who recalled their vaccination history were included in the analysis. Subjective vaccination history was documented to be inaccurate in 1,023 (37%) patients.
Conclusions: Our study indicates that in adult patients, self-reported data regarding pneumococcal vaccination is likely to be inaccurate in one out of three patients. This level of recall bias may incorporate a fatal flaw in vaccine effectiveness studies.
Van Heiden, Sarah; Carrico, Ruth; Wiemken, Timothy L.; Alexander, Ronika; McLaughlin, John M.; Jiang, Qin; Peyrani, Paula; Mattingly, William A.; Furmanek, Stephen P.; English, Connor L.; Pena, Senen; Isturiz, Raul; and Ramirez, Julio A.
"Level of Recall Bias Regarding Pneumococcal Vaccination History among Adults Hospitalized with Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Results from the University of Louisville Pneumonia Study,"
The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jri/vol1/iss4/3
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