OBJECTIVE: To assess the intraobserver reliability of the information about the history of diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. METHODS: A multidimensional health questionnaire, which was filled out by the interviewees, was applied twice with an interval of 2 weeks, in July '99, to 192 employees of the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), stratified by sex, age, and educational level. The intraobserver reliability of the answers provided was estimated by the kappa statistic and by the coefficient of intraclass correlation (CICC). RESULTS: The general kappa (k) statistic was 0.75 (95% CI=0.73-0.77). Reliability was higher among females (k=0.88, 95% CI=0.85-0.91) than among males (k=0.62, 95% CI=0.59-0.65).The reliability was higher among individuals 40 years of age or older (k=0.79; 95% CI=0.73-0.84) than those from 18 to 39 years (k=0.52; 95% CI=0.45-0.57). Finally, the kappa statistic was higher among individuals with a university educational level (k=0.86; 95% CI=0.81-0.91) than among those with high school educational level (k=0.61; 95% CI=0.53-0.70) or those with middle school educational level (k=0.68; 95% CI=0.64-0.72). The coefficient of intraclass correlation estimated by the intraobserver agreement in regard to age at the time of the diagnosis of hypertension was 0.74. A perfect agreement between the 2 answers (k=1.00) was observed for 22 interviewees who reported prior prescription of antihypertensive medication. CONCLUSION: In the population studied, estimates of the reliability of the history of medical diagnosis of hypertension and its treatment ranged from substantial to almost perfect reliability
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