Accuracy of Self-Report of Breast Implants

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The accuracy of self-report of breast implants was analyzed using a random sample of 130 of 850 available records from a retrospective cohort study of women who underwent cosmetic surgical procedures from 1963 to 1985. Women with breast implants correctly reported having the surgery 89.3 percent of the time, whereas women having other cosmetic surgical procedures correctly reported having the index surgery 92.7 percent of the time. Younger age at surgery, younger age at survey response, and higher level of education were significantly associated with higher sensitivity of self-report. Despite high validity of reporting of surgery, accuracy of self-report of time of surgery was low, with only 9 percent of women who reported their breast implant surgery providing the correct month and year of surgery. These results are in contrast with a previous validity study.

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