As the saying goes: Garbage in, garbage out. The validity of a health risk appraisal inevitably is limited by the validity of the data entered into it — which includes mostly self-reported data but also, sometimes, biometric data uploaded via the back-end. A lot of people malign self-reported data and revere biometric lab values. But self-reported data may be more valid than we think. And, using one example of a biometric, we’ve seen that blood pressure screening results may not Continue reading
Self-reported data on health risk appraisals has its pros and cons, despite the failure of many wellness and benefits professionals to acknowledge the pros. What about data obtained at worksite biometric health screenings? How valid is it?
[For this post, "biometric" refers to the measurement of biological test results, as opposed to its increasingly popular usage describing the identification of individuals based on their biology. "Valid" is used in a more casual, rather than statistical, context.]
No health test is perfect. For an example, Continue reading
One of the most common knocks on health risk appraisals is that, by definition, they rely on self-reported data. Critics assume self-reported data biased and inaccurate. In fact, one of the respondents in the Shape Up employer wellness survey was quoted as saying, “Biometric screening is a prerequisite for any program. …Self-reported is pointless.” So the real question is not just whether self-reported data is valid, but how it compares to other sources of data, such as biometric screenings (and medical claims data, too), generally perceived to be the gold standard.
The true validity of self reported data is murky. Most of the research on self-reported data validity is Continue reading
At some point in every health educator’s life, someone, frustrated by the fact that none of the seemingly endless choices of health risk appraisals on the market are the perfect fit for your organization, will suggest, ”Why don’t we develop our own HRA?” When you hear this, run the other way.
Unless your organization has expertise in epidemiology, has a readily available source of frequently updated mortality databases that include diverse populations, and has a high level of expertise in questionnaire design, preventive health, chronic disease, health communications, medical cost prediction, productivity measurement, and health behavior theory, it has little chance of being able to Continue reading