The Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) traumatic brain injury (TBI) clinical prediction rules identify children with minor blunt head trauma who are at low risk for clinically important traumatic brain injuries. We measured the agreement between the registered nurse (RN) and physician (MD) assessments.
We performed a cross-sectional study of all children <18 years of age with minor blunt head trauma who presented to a single emergency department. RNs and MDs independently assessed each child and recorded age-based PECARN predictors. As symptoms can change over time, we included cases only when both evaluations were completed within 60 minutes. We used the κ statistic to measure RN-MD agreement, with the main analysis focusing on the overall PECARN rule agreement.
Of the 1624 eligible children, 1191 (73%) had evaluations completed by both RN and ED providers, of which 437 (37%) were in children <2 years of age. The median time between completions of the provider forms was 12 minutes (interquartile range 4-25 minutes). The overall agreement between the RN and MD was higher for the older children (κ 0.55, 95% confidence interval 0.49-0.61 for children 2-18 years versus κ 0.32, 95% confidence interval 0.23-0.41 for children <2 years).
The overall agreement between RN and MD for the PECARN TBI prediction rules was moderate for older children and fair for younger children. Initial RN assessments should be verified by the MD before clinical application, especially for the youngest children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We focus upon several broad issues that are of concern to clinicians and clinical researchers in the areas of biobehavioral and biomedical research, including, but not limited to, the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, and neurology. These issues are the critical reassessment of S. S. Stevens' quadripartite conceptualization of scales of measurement; the application of criteria to determine the clinical significance of reliability estimates; the detection of subsets of reliable and unreliable raters, when the overall level is of little clinical import; and finally, the application of Kappa statistics when multiple raters evaluate a single case.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ED is often confronted with long waiting periods. Because of the progressive shortage in general practitioners, further growth is expected in the number of patients visiting the ED without consulting a general practitioner first. These patients mainly present with minor injuries suitable for a standardized diagnostic protocol. The question was raised whether these injuries can be treated by trained ED nurses (specialized emergency nurses [SENs]). The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility of SENs in assessing ankle sprains by applying the Ottawa Ankle Rules (OAR) and Ottawa Foot Rules (OFR).
In a prospective study, all ankle sprains presented in the ED from April to July 2004 were assessed by both a SEN and a junior doctor (house officer [HO]) randomized for first observer. Before the study, SENs were trained in applying OAR and OFR. In all patients, radiography was performed (gold standard). The diagnostic accuracy for the application of OAR and OFR was calculated for both groups and was compared using z statistics. Furthermore, from the paired results, reproducibility was calculated using kappa statistics.
In total, 106 injuries were assessed in pairs, of which 14 were ultimately found to concern acute fractures (prevalence, 13%). The sensitivity for the SEN group was 0.93 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-1.00) compared with 0.93 (95% CI, 0.64-1.00) for the HO group (no significance [ns]). The specificity of the nurses was 0.49 (95% CI, 0.38-0.60) compared with 0.39 (95% CI, 0.29-0.50) for the doctors (ns). The positive predictive value for the SEN group was 0.22 (95% CI, 0.13-0.35) compared with 0.19 (95% CI, 0.11-0.31) for the HO group (ns). The negative predictive value for the nurses was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.87-1.00) compared with 0.97 (95% CI, 0.84-1.00) for the doctors (ns). The interobserver agreement for the OAR and OFR subsets was kappa = 0.38 for the lateral malleolus; kappa = 0.30, medial malleolus; kappa = 0.50, navicular; kappa = 0.45, metatarsal V base; and kappa = 0.43, weight-bearing. The overall interobserver agreement for the OAR was kappa = 0.41 and kappa = 0.77 for the OFR.
Specialized emergency nurses are able to assess ankle and foot injuries in an accurate manner with regard to the detection of acute fractures after a short, inexpensive course.
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 11/2005; 23(6):725-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2005.02.054 · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variables used in prediction rules and clinical guidelines should show acceptable agreement when assessed by different observers. Our objective was to determine the interobserver agreement of patient history and physical examination variables used to assess children undergoing emergency department (ED) evaluation for a first seizure not provoked by a known precipitant such as fever or trauma (ie, an unprovoked seizure).
We conducted a prospective cohort study of children aged 28 days to 18 years evaluated for unprovoked seizures at 6 tertiary care EDs. We excluded patients if previously evaluated for a similar event. Two clinicians independently completed a clinical assessment before neuroimaging. We determined agreement for each clinical variable by using the unweighted κ statistic.
A total of 217 paired observations were analyzed; median patient age was 53.5 months, and 38% were younger than 2 years. Agreement beyond chance was at least moderate (κ ≥ 0.41) for 21 of 31 (68%) variables for which κ could be calculated. κ was ≥0.41 for 7 of 11 (64%) general history variables, all 8 seizure-specific history variables (including seizure focality), and 6 of 12 (50%) physical examination variables. Agreement beyond chance was substantial or better (κ ≥ 0.61) for 2 of 11 (18%) general history variables, for 5 of 8 (63%) seizure-specific history variables, and for 2 of 12 (17%) physical examination variables.
For children with first unprovoked seizures evaluated in the ED, clinicians frequently assess findings from seizure-specific history with substantial agreement beyond chance. Those clinical variables that have been associated with the presence of intracranial abnormalities and show reliability between assessors, such as seizure focality and the presence of any focal neurological finding, may be more useful in the ED assessment of children with first unprovoked seizures.
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