The results of an external proficiency test of clinical chemistry laboratories in Sweden when the target analyte was ethylene glycol (EG) are presented. Specimens of plasma were spiked with EG (10% w/v) to give assigned concentrations ranging from 5 to 50 mmol/L. Over a period of 6 years, two control specimens of plasma were sent for analysis on 21 occasions to between 14 and 20 participating laboratories as a declared proficiency trial. The analytical precision between and within laboratories was determined by spiking the plasma specimens with the same concentration of EG so that the results reported back could be considered a duplicate determination. On one occasion propylene glycol (PG) was substituted for EG without informing the participants. The standard deviation (SD) within laboratories expressed as the coefficient of variation (CV) was 4.5% compared with 11.4% between laboratories. Results reported by laboratories using gas chromatography (GC) were in good agreement with those when an enzymatic method was used. The between-laboratory SD increased with concentration of EG in the specimen and at a mean concentration of 18 mmol/L, the pooled SD was 4.11 mmol/L (CV = 23%). Four laboratories reported finding EG in plasma when PG was the diol present; three laboratories used an enzymatic method and one used GC. Clinical laboratories that provide a toxicology service should regularly participate in external quality assurance schemes that include low-molecular-weight alcohols such as EG. Efforts should be made to standardize the analytical methods used for toxicological analysis.
Cronbach's a is the most widely used index of the reliability of a scale. However, its use and interpretation can be subject to a number of errors. This article discusses the historical development of a from other indexes of internal consistency (split-half reliability and Kuder-Richardson 20) and discusses four myths associated with a: (a) that it is a fixed property of the scale, (b) that it measures only the internal consistency of the scale, (c) that higher values are always preferred over lower ones, and (d) that it is restricted to the range of 0 to 1. It provides some recommendations for acceptable values of a in different situations.
The article describes challenges related to the transfer of a family assessment instrument, the Assessment of Strategies in Families-Effectiveness (ASF-E), and its theoretical basis to another culture.
Instrument development encompassed translation and discussion of theoretical and cultural relevance of the items. Patients from two clinics in Tampere, Finland (N = 196) completed the ASF. Psychometric tests involved factor and reliability analysis.
The theoretical constructs of stability, growth, control and connectedness/spirituality were represented in the factor structure, and reliability ranged from .65 to .83.
There were cultural differences in the interpretation of certain items. Characteristics of Finnish culture with impact on instrument validity were homogeneity and family emphasis on conflict resolution. Insights contributed to further instrument development and broader understanding of culture.
Questionnaires are used in research and clinical practice. For gastrointestinal complaints the Rome II questionnaire is internationally known but not validated. The aim of this study was to validate a printed and a computerized version of Rome II, translated into Swedish. Results from various analyses are reported.
Volunteers from a population based colonoscopy study were included (n = 1011), together with patients seeking general practice (n = 45) and patients visiting a gastrointestinal specialists' clinic (n = 67). The questionnaire consists of 38 questions concerning gastrointestinal symptoms and complaints. Diagnoses are made after a special code. Our validation included analyses of the translation, feasibility, predictability, reproducibility and reliability. Kappa values and overall agreement were measured. The factor structures were confirmed using a principal component analysis and Cronbach's alpha was used to test the internal consistency.
Translation and back translation showed good agreement. The questionnaire was easy to understand and use. The reproducibility test showed kappa values of 0.60 for GERS, 0.52 for FD, and 0.47 for IBS. Kappa values and overall agreement for the predictability when the diagnoses by the questionnaire were compared to the diagnoses by the clinician were 0.26 and 90% for GERS, 0.18 and 85% for FD, and 0.49 and 86% for IBS. Corresponding figures for the agreement between the printed and the digital version were 0.50 and 92% for GERS, 0.64 and 95% for FD, and 0.76 and 95% for IBS. Cronbach's alpha coefficient for GERS was 0.75 with a span per item of 0.71 to 0.76. For FD the figures were 0.68 and 0.54 to 0.70 and for IBS 0.61 and 0.56 to 0.66. The Rome II questionnaire has never been thoroughly validated before even if diagnoses made by the Rome criteria have been compared to diagnoses made in clinical practice.
The accuracy of the Swedish version of the Rome II is of doubtful value for clinical practice and research. The results for reproducibility and reliability were acceptable but the outcome of the predictability test was poor with IBS as an exception. The agreement between the digital and the paper questionnaire was good.
Cites: Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Oct;95(10):2679-8111051333
Cites: Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 2007 Aug;46(8):644-717967234