The inter-observer agreement of examining pre-school children with acute cough: a nested study

Alastair D Hay, A Wilson, Thomas P Fahey, TJ Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background

The presence of clinical signs have implications for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the inter-observer agreement of clinical signs in pre-school children presenting to primary care.

Methods

A nested study comparing two clinical assessments within a prospective cohort of 256 pre-school children with acute cough recruited from eight general practices in Leicestershire, UK. We examined agreement (using kappa statistics) between unstandardised and standardised clinical assessments of tachypnoea, chest signs and fever.

Results

Kappa values were poor or fair for all clinical signs (range 0.12 to 0.39) with chest signs the most reliable.

Conclusions

Primary care clinicians should be aware that clinical signs may be unreliable when making diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions in pre-school children with cough. Future research should aim to further our understanding of how best to identify abnormal clinical signs.
Translated title of the contributionThe inter-observer agreement of examining pre-school children with acute cough: a nested study
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages4
JournalBMC Family Practice
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2004

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