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Inter-rater reliability of an oral assessment guide for elderly patients residing in a rehabilitation ward

  • Pia Andersson
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Stefan Renvert
Publishing year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 181-186
Publication/Series: Special Care in Dentistry
Volume: 22
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

The aim of this study was to test the inter-rater reliability of a revised oral assessment guide (ROAG) for patients residing in a geriatric rehabilitation ward. A consecutive sample of 140 patients was recruited for the study. Oral assessments were performed for 133 newly admitted patients by one registered nurse (RN) during a period of six months. A dental hygienist (DH) carried out 103 oral assessments during the same half-year. For 66 patients, the RN and the DH performed independent assessments. There was an agreement between the RN and the DH in the majority of the independent assessments, except for tongue and teeth/dentures. The percentage agreement exceeded 80 percent. Inter-rater agreement measured by Cohen's Kappa coefficient ranged from moderate to very good and percentage agreement had a range of 58 to 91 percent. The agreement was highest in assessment of voice and swallowing (91%). Assessments of teeth and dentures seemed to be most difficult for the RN to evaluate. ROAG was found to be a clinically useful assessment tool. Additional education and training is needed to improve the reliability of the oral assessments and should include continuous support from a dental hygienist as well as a pictorial manual on how to use the ROAG.


  • Nursing


  • ISSN: 0275-1879
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions