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Reliability of the Timeline Followback Sexual Behavior Interview


L. Weinhardt, M. Carey, S. Maisto, et al.

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Annals. Behavioral Medicine

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The reliability of self-reported sexual behavior is a question of utmost importance to HIV-prevention
research. The Timeline Followback (TLFB) interview, which was developed to assess alcohol
consumption on the event level, incorporates recall-enhancing techniques that result in reliable
information. In this study, the TLFB interview was adapted to assess HIV-related sexual behaviors
and their antecedents, and its reliability was assessed. The interview was administered to 110
participants (46% women, M age = 19.7; range = 18 – 41), and 58 participants who reported sexual
behavior during the previous three months returned one week later for a second interview. Test-retest
intraclass correlations () from the TLFB protocol showed that all sexual behaviors were reported
reliably (range = .86 to .97, median = .96). Bootstrapping, a non-parametric statistical technique,
was used for significance testing in the reliability analyses. Reliability was equivalent across each
of the three months assessed with the TLFB, and was equivalent to conventional assessment methods
(i.e., single-item questions). These findings show that the TLFB sexual behavior interview provides
reliable reports of sexual behavior over 3 months and yields event-level data that are extremely
valuable for sexual behavior and HIV-prevention research







Created at 9/13/2011 3:18 PM by Davis, Gregory P
Last modified at 9/13/2011 3:18 PM by Davis, Gregory P