DESCRIPTION (Applicant's Description) This project's long-term objective is
to improve data collection on early-life sun exposure in etiologic studies of
melanoma and other skin cancers; findings may have implications for
epidemiologic studies involving recall of other early-life risk factors like
diet and physical exercise.
The specific aims are: 1) to develop instruments for adult recall of childhood
sun exposure through key informant interviews and collegial pretesting, focus
groups, cognitive interviewing and field pretesting; 2) to evaluate the
developed instruments, through field testing in young adult melanoma cases and
population controls, as to response completeness, test-retest reliability, and
the effect of these on odds ratio estimates. The investigators have
developed, from existing instruments, a life events calendar to help define
stable exposure periods and a draft questionnaire. Further preliminary
development through interviews with other investigators and collegial
pretesting will be unfunded work. Funding is requested for the focus group,
cognitive interview, field pretest and evaluation phases.
Focus groups of young melanoma cases and like-aged population controls will be
invited to discuss the way they think about and retrieve information
concerning early life sun exposure (memory triggers, salient aspects, etc.)
and then to review the draft questionnaire and provide feedback for
improvements. Analysis of these sessions will result in a revised
questionnaire. Small-group cognitive interviews will explore how subjects
comprehend and prepare answers to the questions in this revised instrument.
Resulting refinements to wording and probes will be pretested in telephone
interviews and then field tested in a sample of melanoma cases and population
controls, with reinterview at least four months later. Evaluation will focus
on item nonresponse and reliability in cases and controls, and the effect of
these on odds ratio estimates.
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