ABSTRACT: Few studies have systematically assessed the reliability of pubertal markers; most are flawed by limited numbers of markers and ages studied.
To conduct a comprehensive examination of inter-rater reliability in the assessment of boys' sexual maturity.
Eight pairs of practitioners independently rated 79 consecutive boys aged 8-14 years.
Two raters in each of eight practices independently rated boys aged 8-14 years, presenting for physical examinations, on key pubertal markers: pubic hair and genitalia (both on 5-point Tanner scales), testicular size (via palpation and comparison with a four-bead Prader orchidometer), and axillary hair (via a three-point scale).
Intraclass correlations assessing degree of inter-rater reliability for pubertal markers ranged from 0.61 to 0.94 (all significant at p < 0.001). Rater Kappas for signs of pubertal initiation ranged from 0.49 to 0.79.
Practitioners are able to reliably stage key markers of male puberty and identify signs of pubertal initiation.
Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM 04/2009; 22(4):291-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor