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Medical Record Validation of Maternal Recall of Pregnancy and Birth Events From a Twin Cohort

  • Jianghong Liu (a1), Catherine Tuvblad (a2), Linda Li (a1), Adrian Raine (a3) and Laura A. Baker (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 03 June 2013

This study aims to assess the validity of maternal recall for several perinatal variables 8–10 years after pregnancy in a twin sample. Retrospective information was collected 8–10 years after the delivery event in a cohort of mothers from the University of Southern California Twin Study (N = 611) and compared with medical records for validity analysis. Recall of most variables showed substantial to perfect agreement (κ = 0.60–1.00), with notable exceptions for specific medical problems during pregnancy (κ ≤ 0.40) and substance use when mothers provided continuous data (e.g., number of cigarettes per day; r ≤ 0.24). With the exception of delivery method, neonatal intensive care unit admission, birth weight, neonatal information, and post-delivery complications were also recalled with low accuracy. For mothers of twins, maternal recall is generally a valid measure for perinatal variables 10 years after pregnancy. However, caution should be taken regarding variables such as substance use, medical problems, birth length, and post-delivery complications.

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Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Jianghong Liu, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 418 Curie Blvd., Room 426, Claire M. Fagin Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096, USA. E-mail:
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
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