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Systematic Review
Food frequency questionnaires developed and validated in Iran: a systematic review
Arezoo Rezazadeh, Nasrrin Omidvar, Katherine L. Tucker
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020015.   Published online March 30, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020015
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
To systematically review and identify food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) developed for the Iranian population and their validation and reproducibility in order to determine possible research gaps and needs.
METHODS
Studies were selected by searching for relevant keywords in the PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Google Scholar, SID, and Iranmedex databases, unpublished data, and theses in November 2016 (updated in September 2019). All English-language and Persian-language papers were included. Duplicates, articles with unrelated content, and articles only containing a protocol were excluded. The FFQs were categorized based on: (1) number of food items in to short (≤80 items) and long (>80 items) and; (2) the aim of the FFQ to explore total consumption pattern/nutrients (general) or to detect specific nutrient(s)/food group(s) (specialized).
RESULTS
Sixteen reasonably validated questionnaires were identified. However, only 13 presented a reproducibility assessment. Ten FFQs were categorized as general (7 long, 3 short) and 6 as specialized (3 long, 3 short). The correlation coefficients for nutrient intake between dietary records or recalls and FFQs were 0.07-0.82 for long (general: 0.07-0.82 and specialized: 0.26-0.67) and 0.20-0.67 for short (general: 0.24-0.54 and specialized: 0.20-0.42) FFQs. Long FFQs showed higher validity and reproducibility than short FFQs. Reproducibility of FFQs was acceptable (0.32-0.89). The strongest correlations were reported by studies with shorter intervals between FFQs.
CONCLUSIONS
FFQs designed for the Iranian population appear to be appropriate tools for dietary assessment. Despite their acceptable reproducibility, their validity for assessing specific nutrients and their applicability for populations other than those they were developed for may be questionable.
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