Are You Sure? Lapses in self-reported activities among healthy older adults reporting online

Katherine V. Wild, Nora Mattek, Daniel Austin, Jeffrey A. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Accurate retrospective reporting of activities and symptoms has been shown to be problematic for older adults, yet standard clinical care relies on self-reports to aid in assessment and management. Our aim was to examine the relationship between self-report and sensor-based measures of activity. We administered an online activity survey to participants in our ongoing longitudinal study of in-home ubiquitous monitoring. We found a wide range of accuracies when comparing self-report with time-stamped sensor-based data. Of the 95 participants who completed the 2-hr activity log, nearly one quarter did not complete the task in a way that could potentially be compared with sensor data. Where comparisons were possible, agreement between self-reported and sensor-based activity was achieved by a minority of participants. The findings suggest that capture of real-time events with unobtrusive activity monitoring may be a more reliable approach to describing behavioral patterns and meaningful changes in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-641
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • in-home monitoring
  • self-report assessments
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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