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Self-reports of HIV risk factors by patients at a sexually transmitted disease clinic: audio vs written questionnaires

, : Self-reports of HIV risk factors by patients at a sexually transmitted disease clinic: audio vs written questionnaires. American Journal of Public Health 84(5): 754-760

Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine how the method of assessment affects patient report of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risks. Methods. Patients at a sexually transmitted disease clinic randomly received either a written self-administered questionnaire or an audio self-administered questionnaire delivered by cassette player and headset. These questionnaires were followed by face-to-face interviews. Results. Audio questionnaires had fewer missing responses than written questionnaires. Audio questionnaires also identified more unprotected vaginal intercourse and sexual partners suspected or known to have HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome than did written questionnaires. Although both the audio and written questionnaires identified more risks than the face-to-face interviews, the difference in the mean number of reported risks between the audio questionnaires and the face-to-face interviews was greater than that between the written questionnaires and the face-to-face interviews. Conclusions. Audio questionnaires may obtain more complete data and identify more HIV risk than written questionnaires. Research is warranted about whether audio questionnaires overcome barriers to the completion and accuracy of HIV risk surveys. This study emphasizes the need to elucidate the relative strengths and weaknesses of written questionnaires, audio questionnaires, and face-to-face interviews for HIV risk assessment.


PMID: 8179044

DOI: 10.2105/ajph.84.5.754

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