Reliability of a sugar consumption questionnaire for rural Haiti

Walter J. Psoter, Bette Gebrian, Ralph V. Katz


Objective: Studies of dental caries should account for sugar consumption as a potential confounder or effect modifier of other exposure-caries associations. The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of a sugar consumption score for rural Haiti through correlation of test-retest scores derived from astructured, interviewer-administered questionnaire. Methods: A structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire of sugar consumption was developed forrural Haiti to achieve contextual validity. The resulting questionnaire had two parts; one part captures the child’s consumption of sugar products frequency; the second part captures sugar additions to the child’s food preparation. A test-retest, one week apart, was conducted on a sample of 30 mother-child pairs (children ages 9-17). Test-retest correlations and paired t-testing was conducted to assess the questionnaire’s reliability. Results: All test-retest (Part 1, children’s questions; Part 2, mother’s questions; the combined scores) had Pearson product correlation coefficients of 0.7 orgreater, respectively. All test-retest scores had paired t-test p-values ³ 0.95.Conclusions: A reliable, contextually valid relativesugar consumption questionnaire specific for rural Haitiis presented. The questionnaire and methodologyemployed in its development and testing may haveutility for dental caries researchers in investigations inless developed countries.


Dental caries; Sugar; Reliability; Questionnaire

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