Reliability of Semmes Weinstein monofilament and ballpoint sensory testing, and voluntary muscle testing in Bangladesh.

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TitleReliability of Semmes Weinstein monofilament and ballpoint sensory testing, and voluntary muscle testing in Bangladesh.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAnderson AM, Croft RP
Abbrev. JournalLepr Rev
JournalLeprosy review
Year of Publication1999
Volume70
Issue3
Pagination305-13
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsBangladesh, Female, Humans, Lepromin, Leprosy, Lepromatous, Leprosy, Tuberculoid, Male, Muscular Diseases, Pain Measurement, Reproducibility of Results, Sensation Disorders, Sensitivity and Specificity, Sensory Thresholds, Severity of Illness Index, Tensile Strength
Abstract

The reliability of methods of testing nerve function is important, since diagnostic decision making is a direct function of the quality of the test. Three methods of nerve function testing were investigated at the Danish Bangladesh Leprosy Mission (DBLM) in north Bangladesh, and assessed for inter-observer reliability. The three methods were 1) ballpoint pen test (BPT) for sensory function; 2) graded Semmes Weinstein monofilament test (SWM) for sensory function and 3) voluntary muscle testing (VMT) for motor function. The weighted kappa (kappa w) statistic was used to express inter-observer reliability. Using this statistic, 0 represents agreement no better than random, and 1.0 complete agreement. kappa w values of > or = 0.80 are reckoned to be adequate for monitoring and research. Fifty-three patients were tested, a Senior physiotechnician acting as 'gold standard' against whom four other staff physiotechnicians were assessed. All three testing methods were found to have minimal inter-observer variation, with the kappa w for inter-observer agreement using BPT being 0.86, the SWM 0.92, and VMT 0.94. It is concluded that in trained and experienced hands, all three methods are reliable and repeatable to a level allowing confident use of results obtained in monitoring and research.

PubMed URL

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10603720?dopt=Abstract

Link to full texthttp://leprev.ilsl.br/pdfs/1999/v70n3/pdf/v70n3a11.pdf
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