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Inter- and intraobserver agreement of three classification systems for lateral clavicle fractures - reliability comparison between two specialist groups


Rauer, Thomas; Boos, Matthias; Neuhaus, Valentin; Ellanti, Prasad; Kaufmann, Robert Alexander; Pape, Hans-Christoph; Allemann, Florin (2020). Inter- and intraobserver agreement of three classification systems for lateral clavicle fractures - reliability comparison between two specialist groups. Patient Safety in Surgery, 14:4.

Abstract

Background
Although of great value in the management of lateral clavicle fractures, substantial variation in their classification exists. We performed a retrospective study to address the inter- and intraobserver reliability of three different classification systems for lateral clavicle fractures.
Methods
Radiographs of 20 lateral clavicle fractures that represented a full spectrum of adult fracture patterns were graded by five experienced radiologists and five experienced trauma surgeons according to the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), the Neer, and the Jäger/Breitner classification systems. This evaluation was performed at two different time points separated by 3 months. To measure the observer agreement, the Fleiss kappa coefficient (κ) was applied and assessed according to the grading of Landis and Koch.
Results
The overall interobserver reliability showed a fair agreement in all three classification systems. For the OTA classification system, the interobserver agreement showed a mean kappa value of 0.338 ranging from 0.350 (radiologists) to 0.374 (trauma surgeons). Kappa values of the interobserver agreement for the Neer classification system ranged from 0.238 (trauma surgeons) to 0.276 (radiologists) with a mean κ of 0.278. The Jäger/Breitner classification system demonstrated a mean kappa value of 0.330 ranging from 0.306 (trauma surgeons) to 0.382 (radiologists).The overall intraobserver reliability was moderate for the OTA and the Jäger/Breitner classification systems, while the overall intraobserver reliability for the Neer classification system was fair.The kappa values of the intraobserver agreements showed, in all classification systems, a wide range with the OTA classification system ranging from 0.086 to 0.634, the Neer classification system ranging from 0.137 to 0.448, and a range from 0.154 to 0.625 of the Jäger/Breitner classification system.
Conclusions
The low inter- and intraobserver agreement levels exhibited in all three classification systems by both specialist groups suggest that the tested lateral clavicle fracture classification systems are unreliable and, therefore, of limited value. We should recognize there is considerable inconsistency in how physicians classify lateral clavicle fractures and therefore any conclusions based on these classifications should be recognized as being somewhat subjective.

Abstract

Background
Although of great value in the management of lateral clavicle fractures, substantial variation in their classification exists. We performed a retrospective study to address the inter- and intraobserver reliability of three different classification systems for lateral clavicle fractures.
Methods
Radiographs of 20 lateral clavicle fractures that represented a full spectrum of adult fracture patterns were graded by five experienced radiologists and five experienced trauma surgeons according to the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA), the Neer, and the Jäger/Breitner classification systems. This evaluation was performed at two different time points separated by 3 months. To measure the observer agreement, the Fleiss kappa coefficient (κ) was applied and assessed according to the grading of Landis and Koch.
Results
The overall interobserver reliability showed a fair agreement in all three classification systems. For the OTA classification system, the interobserver agreement showed a mean kappa value of 0.338 ranging from 0.350 (radiologists) to 0.374 (trauma surgeons). Kappa values of the interobserver agreement for the Neer classification system ranged from 0.238 (trauma surgeons) to 0.276 (radiologists) with a mean κ of 0.278. The Jäger/Breitner classification system demonstrated a mean kappa value of 0.330 ranging from 0.306 (trauma surgeons) to 0.382 (radiologists).The overall intraobserver reliability was moderate for the OTA and the Jäger/Breitner classification systems, while the overall intraobserver reliability for the Neer classification system was fair.The kappa values of the intraobserver agreements showed, in all classification systems, a wide range with the OTA classification system ranging from 0.086 to 0.634, the Neer classification system ranging from 0.137 to 0.448, and a range from 0.154 to 0.625 of the Jäger/Breitner classification system.
Conclusions
The low inter- and intraobserver agreement levels exhibited in all three classification systems by both specialist groups suggest that the tested lateral clavicle fracture classification systems are unreliable and, therefore, of limited value. We should recognize there is considerable inconsistency in how physicians classify lateral clavicle fractures and therefore any conclusions based on these classifications should be recognized as being somewhat subjective.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Surgery
Health Sciences > Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Health Sciences > Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:03 Feb 2020 14:22
Last Modified:12 Jul 2020 11:07
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1754-9493
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13037-019-0228-y
PubMed ID:31911821

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