142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

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Can Young Adults Accurately Report Sexual Partnership Dates? Results from the Project on Partner Dynamics

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Diana Sanchez, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Victor Schoenbach, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
S. Marie Harvey, DrPH, MPH , College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Jocelyn Warren, PhD, MPH , School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Christopher R. Agnew, PhD , Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Background: 

Partner notification programs and research studies routinely collect sexual partnership dates, but reporting accuracy is constrained by imprecision, memory failure, and recall bias. Magnitude of inaccuracy and its correlates have implications for collecting and interpreting sexual behavior data.

Methods:

We examined inter-partner agreement (IPA) and partner-dyad agreement (PDA) among 300 heterosexual respondents (150 dyads) enrolled in The Project on Partner Dynamics. Dates of first and last sex  within each dyad were collected through interviews with each partner and from a joint interview with the dyad. . PDA was calculated by comparing individual respondent reports with the consensus from the joint interview. Linear regression models identified factors associated with IPA.

Results:

The average age of respondents was 24. Most dyads (37.5%) were <1 year in duration, and most respondents (52.4% and 58.7% of index and partner respondents) reported exclusively dating their partner. For date of first sex, IPA to 1-, 30-, 90-, and 365-day IPA was, respectively, 6.1%, 44.6%, 64.5%, and 81.8%; PDA was 5.3%, 40.0%, 60.2%, and 77.4%. For last sex, 1-, 30-, 90-, and 365- day IPA was, respectively, 32.7%, 94.7%, 98.7%, and 100.0%; PDA was 27.8%, 88.0%, 98.4%, and 98.4%. Greater time between interviews dates, and drug and alcohol use, were associated with lower agreement for first sex; alcohol and other drug use was associated with lower agreement for last sex.

Conclusions: 

Partners’ agreement on dates was low. Methods to increase accuracy of dates could influence both research and practice.

Learning Areas:

Epidemiology
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the extent of agreement between partnersí reports of sexual partnership dates. Discuss how individual partner reports on reported sexual partnership dates compare to dates collected in a joint partner interview

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate in Epidemiology, studying sexual partnerships and sexual health epidemiology. I have conducted research in sexual health and STI/HIV for approximately 7 years, and have had a dual position as a sexual health educator at a university health center for approximately 3 years.
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.