D., Seddig, E. L., & Leigh, B.C. Comparison of daily
reports and retrospective recall for eliciting drug injection
partners. Presentation at the 24th International Sunbelt
Social Networks Conference, San Diego, CA, March 10-15, 2009.
Presentation available at SSRN:
To understand the
spread of bloodborne viruses in injection drug users (IDUs),
it is important to ascertain networks of injection contact.
However, in retrospective interviews, IDUs often forget many
injection partners. We compared retrospective recall with
We gave mobile phones to 14 IDUs who had participated in the
first daily reporting study of the project. For four weeks,
participants reported their injection partners in automated
daily telephone interviews. Then, in a retrospective
interview, they recalled their partners from the four-week
period and received location and network cues to enhance
recall. The 11 participants who reported partners in the daily
interviews missed 3.4 (out of 28) such interviews on average.
In the daily reports, they listed a mean of 6.4 unique
partners. In the retrospective interview, they recalled a mean
of 5.1 partners, including a mean of 0.8 in response to the
recall cues (a 17% increase on average). One-third of
cue-elicited partners were mentioned in the daily reports. In
the retrospective interview, participants forgot 2.7 partners
on average, and listed a mean of 1.5 partners not in the daily
reports (perhaps partners on days with missing daily reports).
The total number of partners reported at follow-up was
moderately positively correlated with the total number of
unique partners reported during the daily interviews (r =
0.66, intraclass correlation = 0.64). There was some under-
and over-reporting of partnership risk at follow-up, relative
to risk reported in the daily interviews, which could be due
to missing daily reports and misreporting at follow-up,
respectively. Other results mirrored prior research on
correlates of forgetting. First, the number of partners freely
recalled at follow-up correlated moderately positively with
the number of partners elicited by the recall cues (r = 0.52).
Second, forgotten partnerships involved, on average, slightly
less risk and slightly greater injection frequency. Forgotten
partnerships were moderately less recent, though still within
the 28-day study period, and one-third of forgotten
partnerships occurred within 14 days of the follow-up
interview. In conclusion, daily reporting of injection
partners is feasible and may be a useful adjunct to
retrospective recall in some situations. The replication of
the recall cues' effectiveness suggests that such techniques
should be used as standard practice in injection network
2003-2015 Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.
All rights reserved worldwide