Recall Bias presents several examples of how it can occur in the epidemiological studies. According to, the Recall Bias Can Be a Threat to Retrospective and Prospective Research Designs article here are the factors:
- Self-reported information can cause a bias by announcing past event differently than the intended study groups.
- There is a high risk of misclassification by errors of recall patterns
- Recall bias is also a concern in some randomized controlled trials as well as prospective cohort experiments.
The solution to lessen recall bias in trials is to utilize a well-standardized survey. In the same way, to conduct study hypothesis using blind volunteers and data input (Hassan, 2006).
The Project-Based Housing First for Chronically Homeless Individuals With Alcohol Problems: Within-Subjects Analyses of 2-Year Alcohol Trajectories article display how to recall bias may influence the study results. The two-year research project was conducted on 95 homeless people living in a none prohibit alcohol housing facility. The initial thought was these housing facilities would promote alcohol among the homeless. In contrast, the trial revealed that it decreased the use of alcohol consumption amongst the residents (Collins, S. E., Malone, D. K., Clifasefi, S. L., Ginzler, J. A., Garner, M. D., Burlingham, B., & … Larimer, M. E. 2012).
Recall bias may have impacted this study because of the allowance of the participants to self-report of their results. The follow-up interview survey was conducted every three months. The baseline started with 100% of participation but by 24 months the participation was down to 61% for the surveys. Another interesting idea to think about is, did the homeless participants produce a better outcome because they were paid $20.00 per survey?
In conclusion, there are very few trials that have been conducted on the homeless health especially concerning alcohol use. In this experiment, some of the volunteers had an illness such as HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis this could also have altered the study. The good news is that alcohol use amongst the homeless will drop short term with the help of education, intervention, and resources.
Collins, S. E., Malone, D. K., Clifasefi, S. L., Ginzler, J. A., Garner, M. D., Burlingham, B., & … Larimer, M. E. (2012). Project-Based Housing First for Chronically Homeless Individuals With Alcohol Problems: Within-Subjects Analyses of 2-Year Alcohol Trajectories. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(3), 511-519. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300403
- Hassan: Recall Bias can be a Threat to Retrospective and Prospective Research Designs. The Internet Journal of Epidemiology. 2006 Volume 3 Number 2. DOI: 10.5580/2732 – See more at: http://www.ispub.com/journal/the-internet-journal-of-epidemiology/volume-3-number-2/recall-bias-can-be-a-threat-to-retrospective-and-prospective-research-designs.html#sthash.NuAPkJMO.dpuf