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VALIDITATION OF A LIGHT QUESTIONNAIRE WITH REAL-LIFE PHOTOPIC ILLUMINANCE MEASUREMENTS: THE HARVARD LIGHT EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    21737411
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC3340010
  • Funding:
    R01 CA050385/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01 CA050385-22/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01 CA50385/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
    R01 OH008171/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
    R01 OH04192/OH/NIOSH CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background

    Light exposure at night is now considered a probable carcinogen. To study the effects of light on chronic diseases like cancer, methods to measure light exposure in large observational studies are needed. We aimed to investigate the validity of self-reported current light exposure.

    Methods

    We developed a self-administered semiquantitative light questionnaire, the Harvard Light Exposure Assessment (H-LEA) questionnaire, and compared photopic scores derived from this questionnaire with actual photopic and circadian measures obtained from a real-life 7-day light meter application among 132 women (85 rotating night shift workers and 47 day workers) participating in the Nurses' Health Study II.

    Results

    After adjustment for age, BMI, collection day, and night work status, the overall partial Spearman correlation between self-report of light exposure and actual photopic light measurements was 0.72 (P<0.001; Kendall τ =0.57) and 0.73 (P<0.0001; Kendall τ =0.58) when correlating circadian light measurements. There were only minimal differences in accuracy of self-report of light exposure and photopic or circadian light measurement between day (r=0.77 and 0.78, respectively) and rotating night shift workers (r=0.68 and 0.69, respectively).

    Conclusions

    The results of this study provide evidence of the criterion validity of self-reported light exposure using the H-LEA questionnaire. Impact: This questionnaire is a practical method of assessing light exposure in large scale epidemiologic studies.