Beal M, Patriquin D. Interexaminer agreement on palpatory diagnosis and patient self-assessment of disability: a pilot study. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1995;95(2):97. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.199.
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To evaluate interexaminer agreement on palpatory diagnostic findings, we compared interexaminer results, patient disability self-evaluations, and assessment of patients' progress by referring physicians. Three examiners (two clinicians and a third-year osteopathic medical student fellow) monitored patients' progress using negotiated examination procedures. The patients were examined independently by each examiner at each of eight weekly visits. Patients completed a disability assessment form at each visit, and the referring physicians recorded changes in their patients' condition. The patients' disability self-rating and examiner test results did not show clear correlation. There was a 62.2% agreement between the two physician examiners when the general descriptors "improvement," "no change," or "aggravation" were used. The student examiner's agreement with the clinician examiners was 60.2% and 51.8%. Interexaminer agreement of findings from osteopathic testing procedures appears to depend on general clinical experience and specific experience with the testing procedures.
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