The Busselton Survey is a population survey that is held about every three years.
In 1994-1995 a re-survey was held of all past participants and 8,502 attended. Financial
constraints precluded employing staff for data collection for blood pressure and anthropometry,
these therefore were collected by unpaid lay volunteers. Quality control by a health
professional was critical to the assessment and maintenance of accuracy in these measurements.
For blood pressure three readings were taken simultaneously by a quality control person
and the volunteer using a dual stethoscope. Duplicate anthropometric measurements
were taken by a criterion anthropometrist and the volunteer. Inter and intra-observer
technical errors of measurement (TEM) were calculated. Sixty-two volunteers were trained
to take BP measurements; of these, 38 collected data, and 63 were trained in anthropometry;
of these, 30 were suitable as measurers. Training was conducted on a group and individual
basis by the quality assurance person for the study both in the Perth metropolitan
area and rural Busselton. The TEM for SBP was 1.6 mm Hg (SD 1.0 mm Hg) and 1.5 mm
Hg (SD 0.8) for DBP. For skin-folds intra-observer TEM ranged from 0.6 mm to 1.0 mm.
Between-observer TEM ranged from 2.1 mm to 5.4 mm. For limb and waist circumferences,
intra-observer TEM ranged from 0.3 cm to 1.6 cm. Between-observer TEM for circumferences
ranged from 0.5 cm to 1.9 cm. Unpaid volunteer measurers can, if carefully trained
and supervised, provide acceptable blood pressure data and anthropometry in large