JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
VALIDATION STUDY
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Development and validation of a paediatric long-bone fracture classification. A prospective multicentre study in 13 European paediatric trauma centres.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to develop a child-specific classification system for long bone fractures and to examine its reliability and validity on the basis of a prospective multicentre study.

METHODS: Using the sequentially developed classification system, three samples of between 30 and 185 paediatric limb fractures from a pool of 2308 fractures documented in two multicenter studies were analysed in a blinded fashion by eight orthopaedic surgeons, on a total of 5 occasions. Intra- and interobserver reliability and accuracy were calculated.

RESULTS: The reliability improved with successive simplification of the classification. The final version resulted in an overall interobserver agreement of κ = 0.71 with no significant difference between experienced and less experienced raters.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the evaluation of the newly proposed classification system resulted in a reliable and routinely applicable system, for which training in its proper use may further improve the reliability. It can be recommended as a useful tool for clinical practice and offers the option for developing treatment recommendations and outcome predictions in the future.

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