A cross-sectional study assessing agreement between self-reported and general practice-recorded health conditions among community dwelling older adults

Publication authors

Matthew D Hale, Gillian Santorelli, Caroline Brundle, Andrew Clegg



self-reported data regarding health conditions are utilised in both clinical practice and research, but their agreement with general practice records is variable. The extent of this variability is poorly studied amongst older adults, particularly amongst those with multiple health conditions, cognitive impairment or frailty. This study investigates the agreement between self-reported and general practice-recorded data amongst such patients and the impact of participant factors on this agreement.


data on health conditions was collected from participants in the Community Ageing Research 75+ (CARE75+) study (n = 964) by self-report during face-to-face assessment and interrogation of the participants’ general practice electronic health records. Agreement between self-report and practice records was assessed using Kappa statistics and the effect of participant demographics using logistic regression.


agreement ranged from K = 0.25 to 1.00. The presence of ≥2 health conditions modified agreement for cancer (odds ratio, OR:0.62, 95%confidence interval, CI:0.42–0.94), diabetes (OR:0.55, 95%CI:0.38–0.80), dementia (OR:2.82, 95%CI:1.31–6.13) and visual impairment (OR:3.85, 95%CI:1.71–8.62). Frailty reduced agreement for cerebrovascular disease (OR:0.45, 95%CI:0.23–0.89), heart failure (OR:0.40, 95%CI:0.19–0.84) and rheumatoid arthritis (OR:0.41, 95%CI:0.23–0.75). Cognitive impairment reduced agreement for dementia (OR:0.36, 95%CI:0.21–0.62), diabetes (OR:0.47, 95%CI:0.33–0.67), heart failure (OR:0.53, 95%CI:0.35–0.80), visual impairment (OR:0.42, 95%CI:0.25–0.69) and rheumatoid arthritis (OR:0.53, 95%CI:0.37–0.76).


significant variability exists for agreement between self-reported and general practice-recorded comorbidities. This is further affected by an individual’s health conditions. This study is the first to assess frailty as a factor modifying agreement and highlights the importance of utilising the general practice records as the gold standard for data collection from older adults.