Comparisons of Reported Sexual and Condom Use Behaviors From a Retrospective Survey Versus a Prospective Diary in the Botswana Defence Force
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Self-reported sexual behaviors from a retrospective survey relative to a prospective diary were compared among 161 male Botswana Defence Force BDF soldiers. Participants completed two post-intervention weekly sexual behavior diaries and a retrospective survey that queried them about behaviors reported in the same time frame as the prospective diaries. Agreement between the diary and survey was low for reported sex with a spouse and the exchange of material goods for sex with a casual partner. Under- and over-reporting of sex was also observed for spousal and regular non-cohabitating partners, respectively. Frequency of sex and condom use rates among those who had a spouse also differed between the modalities. When comparing condom use frequency from the survey and condom use rates from the diary, agreement between the two diminished as we moved further away from the always using condoms category. Retrospective surveys are useful for measuring recent sexual behaviors, while prospective diaries may be more reliable in collecting routine and sensitive sexual practices in the BDF. Further research among military personnel is needed to better understand reporting behaviors in this population and examine other data collection methodologies that will improve reporting accuracy.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Forces and Organizations