Johannes CB, Crawford SL, Woods J, Goldstein RB, Tran D, Mehrotra S, Johnson KB, Santoro N. An electronic menstrual cycle calendar: comparison of data quality with a paper version. Menopause. 2000 Jan 1;7(3):200-8.

OBJECTIVES: This pilot study compared a prototype electronic menstrual calendaron a handheld computer with a paper calendar for data quality and participants'perceptions.DESIGN: Twenty-three women completed identical information about menstrualbleeding and symptoms using paper and electronic calendars for 1 month each.RESULTS: Use of the paper calendar resulted in more missing data than theelectronic calendar for bleeding characteristics (13% vs. 4%) and symptoms (35%vs. 4%). The electronic calendar's ability to log data entries revealedretrospective entry for 61% of the data. Total data entry and cleaning time wasreduced by 81% with the electronic calendar. Overall, participants preferred the electronic (70%) to the paper (22%) calendar.CONCLUSIONS: Data quality with conventional paper calendars may be poorer thanrecognized. The data-logging feature, unique to the electronic calendar, iscritical for assessing data quality. Electronic menstrual calendars can be usefuldata collection tools for research in women's health.

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