Background: Although interviews are commonly used to gather research data, the integrity of interview data can be threatened by discrepancies between interviewers and respondents on such characteristics as race, gender, or age. Objectives: To determine if participants' reports of the prevalence and severity of 30 symptoms varied as a function of interviewer gender. Symptoms that were assessed included general physical symptoms (diarrhea, headaches), psychological symptoms (feel blue and depressed, worry about nervous breakdown), and menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, vaginal dryness). Method: Structured telephone interviews were completed by 137 women who were a mean of 56.5 years old (SD = 11.1, range 36-83) and a mean of 38.8 months (SD = 23.6) postdiagnosis of breast cancer. Interviewers included two women and two men. Results: Symptom prevalence and severity did not vary as a function of interviewer gender. Conclusions: Findings suggest that both male and female interviewers can be used successfully to assess participants' reports of physical, psychological, or menopausal symptoms.
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