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Public Health Rep. 1978 Jan-Feb; 93(1): 11–15.
PMCID: PMC1431865

Errors in reporting cancer and other conditions by persons in a prospective study.


The hospital records of 553 men were compared with their medical histories obtained by interviews after hospitalization. Forty men had documentation of cancer in their hospital records stated that they had the specific condition. However, 21 other cancer patients did not give a positive history of their documented disease and 4 who stated that they had a malignancy did not have cancer according to their hospital records. In contrast to cancer, respondents overreported surgery for peptic ulcer and colorectal polypectomy. The greatest extent of agreement between the hospital record and the medical interview was noted for surgical patients with gallbladder disease; all 43 of these patients gave a positive history for this condition.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • ELINSON J, TRUSSELL RE. Some factors relating to degree of correspondence for diagnostic information as obtained by household interviews and clinical examinations. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1957 Mar;47(3):311–321. [PubMed]
  • SANDERS BS. Have morbidity surveys been oversold? Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1962 Oct;52:1648–1659. [PubMed]
  • Kaplan SD, Mendeloff AI. PAS full coverage areas: a resource for epidemiologic research. J Chronic Dis. 1975 Dec;28(11-12):593–599. [PubMed]
  • Chambers LW, Spitzer WO, Hill GB, Helliwell BE. Underreporting of cancer in medical surveys: a source of systematic error in cancer research. Am J Epidemiol. 1976 Aug;104(2):141–145. [PubMed]

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