Agreement rates between oral contraceptive users and prescribers in relation to drug use histories

Paul D. Stolley, James A. Tonascia, Philip E. Sartwell, Melvyn S. Tockman, Susan Tonascia, Ann Rutledge, Rita Schinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


A comparison between prescriber records and patient-reported oral contraceptive histories obtained during a case-control study of thromboembolism and oral contraceptive use served as the basis for evaluating the extent of agreement between these two sources of information. Agreement between oral contraceptive user and prescriber was highest on the name of the most recently-used product (89% agreement), and dropped to 62.5% on the name of the product taken before the more recent one. For total duration of oral contraceptive use (to within one month of hospital admission), agreement (defined as differences not exceeding one month) was 36%, while 39% showed the users reporting longer duration of use, and 25% showed users reporting shorter duration. Cases showed a higher rate of agreement with prescriber records than the controls on both the name of the product and the total duration of use. Disagreement from prescriber records In the direction of reporting longer duration of use was 45% for the controls compared to 27% for the cases. These results indicate that while user Information In connection with the most recently used oral contraceptive can be acceptable In studies employing the case-control research strategy, user reports about previous oral contraceptive use may be less useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1978


  • Case-control studies
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Recall bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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