[Validation of the french translated Richmond vigilance-agitation scale]

G Chanques, S Jaber, E Barbotte, R Verdier, K Henriette, J-Y Lefrant, J-J Eledjam
Annales Françaises D'anesthèsie et de Rèanimation 2006, 25 (7): 696-701

OBJECTIVE: To test reliability of the Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) after French translation.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective psychomotor evaluation study.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two bilingual physicians performed the translation from English to French language. The French version was then translated to English by a bilingual non physician ("backtranslation") and compared to the original version. The translated scale was tested according to usual guidelines concerning the translation of neuropsychological evaluation tools. The French version of RASS was tested on the morning of every fifth or sixth day, and 30-min after any procedure, in 43 consecutive patients admitted to a 12-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit during two months, by a group of four observers: the principal investigator, two anaesthesiology residents and one pharmacology student. Inter-rater reliability was tested using the simple and weighted Kappa coefficients (with their 95% confidence interval). A consensual and detailed "operating instructions" guide of RASS, intended for medical and nursing staff, has been added in the Annexe section.

RESULTS: Four hundred twenty measures were performed during 105 grouped observations. Reliability of the French version of RASS was substantial. Simple Kappa coefficient, testing the concordance between observers, was ranged from 0.72 (0.62-0.81) to 0.87 (0.79-0.94) and weighted Kappa coefficient from 0.95 (0.92-0.98) to 0.99 (0.98-0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: The French translation of RASS was acceptable. The translated scale preserved substantial inter-rater reliability. Monitoring of vigilance status in intensive care settings can be performed with this reliable clinical tool.

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