Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Validity of questionnaire self-reports on computer, mouse and keyboard usage during a 4 week period
  1. Sigurd Mikkelsen (simi{at}glostruphosp.kbhamt.dk)
  1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
    1. Imogen Vilstrup (hecib{at}ringamt.dk)
    1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Herning Hospital, Herning, Denmark
      1. Christina Funch Lassen
      1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
        1. Ann Isabel Kryger
        1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
          1. Jane Frølund Thomsen
          1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
            1. Johan Hviid Andersen (hecjha{at}ringamt.dk)
            1. Department of Occupational Medicine, Herning Hospital, Herning, Denmark

              Abstract

              Objective: The aim of the present study was to examine the validity and potential biases in self-reports of computer, mouse, and keyboard usage times, compared to objective recordings. Methods: A study population including 1211 persons was asked in a questionnaire to estimate the average time they had worked with computer, mouse, and keyboard during the past 4 working weeks. During the same period, a software program recorded these activities objectively. The study was part of a 1-year follow-up study from 2000 to 2001 of musculoskeletal outcomes among Danish computer workers. Results: Self-reports on computer, mouse and keyboard usage times were positively associated with objectively measured activity, but the validity was low. Self-reports explained only between a quarter and a third of the variance of objectively measured activity, and was even lower for one measure (keyboard time). Self-reports overestimated usage times. Overestimation was large at low levels and declined with increasing levels of objectively measured activity. Mouse usage time proportion was an exception with a near 1:1 relationship. Variability in objectively measured activity, arm pain, gender, and age influenced self-reports in a systematic way, but the effects were modest and sometimes in different directions. Conclusion: Self-reported durations of computer activities are positively associated with objective measures but they are quite inaccurate. Studies using self-reports to establish relations between computer work times and musculoskeletal pain could be biased and lead to falsely increased or decreased risk estimates.

              • Activity monitoring
              • Computer work
              • Exposure assessment
              • Self-report
              • Validity

              Statistics from Altmetric.com

              Request permissions

              If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.