177391 Using Drug Use Testing to Validate Self-Reported Sexual Behavior in a Sample of MSMs in Chicago

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Timothy Johnson, PhD , Survey Research Laboratory, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL
Michael Fendrich, PhD , Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Mary Ellen Mackesy-Amiti, PhD , Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
The validation of self-reported substance use in epidemiologic surveys using biological assays is well-documented. The accuracy of other survey self-reports, however, are more difficult due to the absence of gold standard auxiliary information. Sexual practices are a case in point, as it is impractical to confirm survey reports of these behaviors. We present analyses that indirectly evaluate the quality of self-reported sexual behavior by examining the reports provided by survey respondents who do and do not provide accurate reports of drug use behaviors. Data come from a random community sample of n=172 men who have sex with men (MSM) conducted in Chicago in 2003. Findings indicate that those respondents documented as under-reporting their drug use were found to also report fewer sexual experiences. Specifically, MSMs under-reporting current marijuana or cocaine use were in addition less likely to indicate sexual experiences with men during the past six months, compared to those with validated use of these substances (61.5% vs. 84.3%, respectively, chi-square = 4.3, p < 0.05). Logistic regression models suggest that these differences are mediated by respondent age and income. We will consider the utility of these findings for collecting more valid information regarding sensitive behaviors in epidemiologic research.

Learning Objectives:
This presentation will educate researchers regarding the use of drug testing procedures to validate self-reports of sensitive health behaviors such as high risk sexual practices. Researchers will have a clear idea how to utilize these procedures in their own work.

Keywords: Data Collection, Drug Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator for the NIH study that collected the data to be reported
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.