The objective of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of maternally recalled birthweight (BW) in a population of 6-y-old children in Jerusalem. The study population consisted of 259 children entering the first grade in two schools in the city. We compare the recalled BW at entrance to school and the BW values as recorded in the Mother and Child Health Clinic of the Hadassah Community Health Center. The mean recalled BW was 11.7 g lower than the mean recorded BW (P > 0.05). There were no statistical differences in mean BW values between the two data sources (according to socio-demographic characteristics) except for mother's age and origin, where no trends could be detected. Fifty-eight percent of the mothers accurately recalled the BW of their children to within 100 g and 80% recalled the BW to within 500 g. Seventy-three percent of mothers of low-birthweight children recalled a BW value of less than 2500 g and 99% of mothers of normal BW children recalled a BW of 2500 g or more. Correlation coefficients between the two sources ranged from 0.89 to 0.96. Given the high degree of accuracy, maternally recalled birthweight is a reliable and valid measure of birthweight 6 y post-partum and its use is justified when no records of birthweight are available.
- Maternal recall