Accurate estimates of the amount and type of fish people eat are necessary to determine the health benefits and risks of consuming fish, and to assess compliance with fish consumption guidelines issued for fish affected by chemical contaminants. We developed a web‐based and mobile‐phone‐enabled diary methodology to collect detailed fish consumption information for two 16‐week periods in the summers of 2014 and 2015. We recruited study participants from two populations living in the Great Lakes region—women of childbearing age (WCBA) and urban residents who had purchased fishing licenses. In this article, we describe the methodology in detail and provide evidence related to participation rates, the representativeness of our sample over time, and both convergent validity and reliability of the data collection methods. Overall, 56% of WCBA and 50% of urban anglers provided complete data across both data collection periods. Among those who provided information at the beginning of Year 2, 97% of both audiences provided information throughout the entire 16‐week period. Those who participated throughout the two‐year period were slightly older on average (1.9–2.5 years) than other members of our original samples. We conclude that using diaries with web and smartphone technology, combined with incentives and persistent communication, has strong potential for assessing fish consumption in other areas of the country or for situations where the potential risks associated with fish consumption are substantial and the cost can be justified.
Risk Analysis – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ;
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