Gorbach PM, Mensch BS, Husnik M, Coly A, Mâsse B, Makanani B, Nkhoma C, Chinula L, Tembo T, Mierzwa S, Reynolds K, Hurst S, Coletti A, Forsyth A. Effect of computer-assisted interviewing on self-reported sexual behavior data in a microbicide clinical trial. AIDS Behav. 2013, 17: 790-800. PMC3550005
In a microbicide safety and effectiveness trial (HPTN 035) in Malawi, 585 women completed the same questionnaire through a face-to-face interview (FTFI) and an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI). Concordance between FTFI and ACASI responses ranged from 72.0 % for frequency of sex in the past week to 95.2 % for anal intercourse (AI) in the past 3 months. Reported gel and condom use at last sex act were marginally lower with ACASI than FTFI (73.5 % vs. 77.2 %, p = 0.11 and 60.9 % vs. 65.5 %, p = 0.05, respectively). More women reported AI with ACASI than FTFI (5.0 % vs. 0.2 %, p < 0.001). Analyses of consistency of responses within ACASI revealed that 15.0 % of participants in the condom-only arm and 28.7 % in the gel arm provided at least one discrepant answer regarding total sex acts and sex acts where condom and gel were used (19.2 % reported one inconsistent answer, 8.1 % reported two inconsistent answers, and 1.4 % reported three inconsistent answers). While ACASI may provide more accurate assessments of sensitive behaviors in HIV prevention trials, it also results in a high level of internally inconsistent responses.