Memory recall errors in retrospective surveys: A reverse record check study

Ayhan H. , Isiksal S.

QUALITY & QUANTITY, vol.38, no.5, pp.475-493, 2004 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11135-005-2643-7
  • Title of Journal : QUALITY & QUANTITY
  • Page Numbers: pp.475-493
  • Keywords: memory recall error, record linkage, matching procedures, record check study, EXPENDITURES, TIME


This paper reports on a study to compare self-reports during an interview with staff who attended a University health centre in Turkey, with the records of visits to the same health centre over the previous 12 months. Design of the study reflects the effects of importance of the event, duration since the event, frequency of the occurrence of the event, measurement scale of the event, and bounded and unbounded recalling. In order to assess the extent of recall error, responses to retrospective questions on health centre visits are compared with administrative records. Statistical models are proposed for short and long term human memory recall error effects on responses.