National Cancer Institute
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Risk Factor Monitoring & Methods
Cancer Control and Population Sciences


What is the Family History Validation Study?

The Family History Validation Study is a methodologic study to assess the completeness and accuracy of self-reports of family history of cancer. A questionnaire was administered by computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to a probability sample of 1,380 Connecticut residents, ages 25-64 years. The questionnaire asked about the occurrence of cancer in first- and second-degree relatives, except for grandchildren.

Approximately 2-3 relatives per survey respondent were then randomly sampled to undergo medical records-based validation of their cancer histories, as reported by the respondent. If possible, sampled living relatives were contacted to obtain consent for participation and additional information about their cancer histories. Alternatively, the additional information was obtained from next-of-kin if the sampled relatives were deceased. The respondents' family history reports were validated by searching state tumor registry records, the National Death Index Plus, Medicare claims, death certificates, and physician records. Analyses are ongoing.

Last modified:
24 Jul 2007
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