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Principles of Exposure Measurement in EpidemiologyCollecting, Evaluating, and Improving Measures of Disease Risk Factors$
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Emily White, Bruce K. Armstrong, and Rodolfo Saracci

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.001.0001

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Methods of exposure measurement

Methods of exposure measurement

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Methods of exposure measurement
Source:
Principles of Exposure Measurement in Epidemiology
Author(s):

Emily White

Bruce K. Armstrong

Rodolfo Saracci

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.003.0002

A variety of subjective and objective methods of exposure measurement are used in epidemiology. They include personal interviews, self-administered questionnaires, diaries of behaviour, reference to records, physical or chemical measurements on the subject, physical or chemical measurements in the environment and, infrequently, direct observation of the subject's behaviour. The issues that must be considered in choosing a method for a particular study are outlined. In addition to costs, the choice of a method is influenced by the type of study to be undertaken, the amount of detail required by the study's objectives, the frequency and impact of the exposure on the subjects' lives, the sensitivity of the topic, the variability in the level of exposure over time, and the accuracy of the methods that are available to measure the specific exposure of interest. The choice among face-to-face interview, telephone interview, and self-administered questionnaire is dealt with in detail.

Keywords:   in-person interview, telephone interview, self-administered questionnaire, diaries, medical records, laboratory measures, environmental measures, direct observation, sensitive questions, computer-assisted interview

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