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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reliability and validity of daily self-monitoring by smartphone application for health-related quality-of-life, antiretroviral adherence, substance use, and sexual behaviors among people living with HIV.

  • Author(s): Swendeman, Dallas
  • Comulada, W Scott
  • Ramanathan, Nithya
  • Lazar, Maya
  • Estrin, Deborah
  • et al.

This paper examines inter-method reliability and validity of daily self-reports by smartphone application compared to 14-day recall web-surveys repeated over 6 weeks with people living with HIV (PLH). A participatory sensing framework guided participant-centered design prioritizing external validity of methods for potential applications in both research and self-management interventions. Inter-method reliability correlations were consistent with prior research for physical and mental health quality-of-life (r = 0.26-0.61), antiretroviral adherence (r = 0.70-0.73), and substance use (r = 0.65-0.92) but not for detailed sexual encounter surveys (r = 0.15-0.61). Concordant and discordant pairwise comparisons show potential trends in reporting biases, for example, lower recall reports of unprotected sex or alcohol use, and rounding up errors for frequent events. Event-based reporting likely compensated for modest response rates to daily time-based prompts, particularly for sexual and drug use behaviors that may not occur daily. Recommendations are discussed for future continuous assessment designs and analyses.

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