Women who remember, women who do not: A methodological study of maternal recall of smoking in pregnancy

Department of Health Sciences and Hull-York Medical School, University of York, Seebohm Rowntree Building, Area 3, Heslington, York YO105DD, UK.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 08/2009; 11(10):1166-74. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntp117
Source: PubMed


Retrospective recall of smoking during pregnancy is assumed to be substantially biased, but this has rarely been tested empirically.
We examined the validity of an interview-based retrospective recall more than a decade after pregnancy, in a cohort with repeated, multimethod characterization of pregnancy smoking (N = 245). Retrospective smoking patterns were examined in relation to prospective reported and biological estimates of overall and trimester-specific smoking status and intensity. We also compared characteristics of women whose smoking status was misclassified by either prospective or retrospective measures with women whose status was congruent for nonsmoking across timepoints.
In general, sensitivity and specificity of recalled smoking were excellent relative to both prospective self-reported and cotinine-validated smoking status and trimester-specific intensity. However, measures were less congruent for amount smoked for women who recalled being heavy smokers. Further, retrospective measures captured some smokers not identified prospectively due to smoking that occurred prior to assessments. Women who would have been misclassified as nonsmokers based on either prospective or retrospective assessment differed significantly from congruently classified nonsmokers in a number of maternal, family, and neighborhood, but not child behavior, characteristics.
When epidemiological studies of the impact of smoking in pregnancy use retrospective methods, misclassification may not be a significant problem if prenatal smoking is assessed in terms of the pattern across pregnancy. This type of interview-based recall of pregnancy smoking may be relatively accurate, although optimal measurement should combine retrospective and prospective self-report and biological assays, as each provide unique information and sources of error.

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    • "Additionally, among women who prospectively denied smoking, approximately one quarter (22.7%) retrospectively reported nicotine use during pregnancy. (Pickett et al., 2009) concluded that retrospective measures may even be more informative than prospective ones for determining some smoking behaviors (e.g., packs per day during the first trimester). Additional prospective studies could incorporate a quantitative biomarker of smoking (Florescu et al., 2009) in conjunction with paternal, teacher, or self-ratings to further evaluate the generalizability, persistence, and potential strategies for remediation of the observed abnormalities in executive function and scholastic performance. "
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    ABSTRACT: Smoking tobacco during pregnancy results in exposure to the fetal neuroteratogen nicotine. The current study evaluated if the offspring of smokers show abnormalities in maternal ratings of executive function, prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and academic performance. A secondary objective was to determine the utility of online data collection. Mothers (N = 357) completed the parent form of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and provided information about smoking during pregnancy. The internal consistency of the BRIEF when administered electronically was quite satisfactory (Cronbach's α = .98). As anticipated, ADHD was more frequently diagnosed in the offspring of women that smoked at least 10 cigarettes/day (odds ratio [OR] = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.22-5.71). Higher (i.e., more problematic) ratings relative to unexposed children (p < .01) were only identified on the total BRIEF score, the Metacognition Index, and on the Initiate, Plan/Organize, and Monitor scales among children exposed to ≥10 cigarettes/day. Nicotine-exposed children were also more likely to perform less well than their classmates in math (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.59-4.87) and reading (OR = 2.00, 95% CI = 1.10-3.63), and these academic effects were independent of maternal education levels. This report provides preliminary evidence that the BRIEF has adequate psychometric properties when administered electronically and that mothers who smoke have offspring with lower executive function proficiency. These findings contribute to a larger literature that indicates that smoking during pregnancy results in adverse reproductive outcomes and, possibly, subtle but enduring deficits in prefrontal function.
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    • "Self-reports of SDP during antenatal visits have been shown to be valid compared to retrospective self-reports (i.e. after pregnancy ; Jacobson et al. 2002) and bioassays (e.g. serum cotinine levels ; Pickett et al. 2009). For example, a large majority (94 %) of maternal self-reports of non-smoking are in agreement with serum cotinine levels (Lindqvist et al. 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal smoking during pregnancy (SDP) has been studied extensively as a risk factor for adverse offspring outcomes and is known to co-occur with other familial risk factors. Accounting for general familial risk factors has attenuated associations between SDP and adverse offspring outcomes, and identifying these confounds will be crucial to elucidating the relationship between SDP and its psychological correlates. The current study aimed to disentangle the relationship between maternal SDP and co-occurring risk factors (maternal criminal activity, drug problems, teen pregnancy, educational attainment, and cohabitation at childbirth) using a population-based sample of full- (n=206 313) and half-sister pairs (n=19 363) from Sweden. Logistic regression models estimated the strength of association between SDP and co-occurring risk factors. Bivariate behavioral genetic models estimated the degree to which associations between SDP and co-occurring risk factors are attributable to genetic and environmental factors. Maternal SDP was associated with an increase in all co-occurring risk factors. Of the variance associated with SDP, 45% was attributed to genetic factors and 53% was attributed to unshared environmental factors. In bivariate models, genetic factors accounted for 21% (non-drug-, non-violence-related crimes) to 35% (drug-related crimes) of the covariance between SDP and co-occurring risk factors. Unshared environmental factors accounted for the remaining covariance. The genetic factors that influence a woman's criminal behavior, substance abuse and her offspring's rearing environment all influence SDP. Therefore, the intergenerational transmission of genes conferring risk for antisocial behavior and substance misuse may influence the associations between maternal SDP and adverse offspring outcomes.
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    • "One advantage is that cocaine using women are less likely to present for prenatal care and may be missed in prenatal recruitment (Brady et al., 2003). Another advantage is that some women are more likely to acknowledge drug use postnatally after a successful delivery than in the prenatal period (Pickett et al., 2009). There are disadvantages as well, with the primary disadvantage being retrospective recall of drug use data. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the direct and indirect associations between maternal cocaine use during pregnancy and mother-toddler aggression in an interactive context at 2 years of child age. We hypothesized that in addition to direct effects of cocaine exposure on maternal and child aggression, the association between maternal cocaine use and mother-toddler aggression may be indirect via higher maternal psychiatric symptoms, negative affect, or poor infant autonomic regulation at 13 months. Participants consisted of 220 (119 cocaine exposed, 101 non-cocaine exposed) mother-toddler dyads participating in an ongoing longitudinal study of prenatal cocaine exposure. Results indicated that mothers who used cocaine during pregnancy displayed higher levels of aggression toward their toddlers compared to mothers in the control group. Results from model testing indicated significant indirect associations between maternal cocaine use and maternal aggression via higher maternal negative affect as well as lower infant autonomic regulation at 13 months. Although there were no direct associations between cocaine exposure and toddler aggression, there was a significant indirect effect via lower infant autonomic regulation at 13 months. Results highlight the importance of including maternal aggression in predictive models of prenatal cocaine exposure examining child aggression. Results also emphasize the important role of infant regulation as a mechanism partially explaining associations between cocaine exposure and mother-toddler aggression.
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