Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Inter-method reliability of the modified Rankin Scale in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) is one of the most frequently used outcome measures in trials in patients with an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). The assessment method of the mRS is often not clearly described in trials, while the method used might influence the mRS score. The aim of this study is to evaluate the inter-method reliability of different assessment methods of the mRS.

METHODS: This is a prospective, randomized, multicenter study with follow-up at 6 weeks and 6 months. Patients aged ≥ 18 years with aSAH were randomized to either a structured interview or a self-assessment of the mRS. Patients were seen by a physician who assigned an mRS score, followed by either the structured interview or the self-assessment. Inter-method reliability was assessed with the quadratic weighted kappa score and percentage of agreement. Assessment of feasibility of the self-assessment was done by a feasibility questionnaire.

RESULTS: The quadratic weighted kappa was 0.60 between the assessment of the physician and structured interview and 0.56 between assessment of the physician and self-assessment. Percentage agreement was, respectively, 50.8 and 19.6%. The assessment of the mRS through a structured interview and by self-assessment resulted in systematically higher mRS scores than the mRS scored by the physician. Self-assessment of the mRS was proven feasible.

DISCUSSION: The mRS scores obtained with different assessment methods differ significantly. The agreement between the scores is low, although the reliability between the assessment methods is good. This should be considered when using the mRS in clinical trials.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ; Unique identifier: NL7859.

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