Apparent Age is a Reliable Assessment Tool in 20 Facelift Patients

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Background:Although the literature is replete with favorable facelift results, there are few validated facial rejuvenation outcome measures. Apparent age (AA), a visual estimate of age by objective observers, has been utilized in several studies; although attractive, AA lacks validation.Objective:The aim of this study is to examine the reliability of AA, highlighting the importance of the exclusive use of validated outcome measures in future studies.Methods:Ten blinded reviewers assessed pre- and postoperative photographs of 32 patients who underwent facelift. Each reviewer completed 3 surveys at 3-month intervals composed of 40 randomly ordered photos; totaling 1200 photographs assigned an AA. The intra-class correlation coefficient was classified as “excellent,” “good,” “fair,” or “poor.” The accuracy of assigned AA, agreement within 5 years, and reduction in AA were also evaluated.Results:The mean difference of preoperative true age from assigned AA was 2.74 ± 4.36 years. Forty-three percent of raters were within 5-years (±2.5) of the mean. Intra-rater reliability preoperatively and postoperatively were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.82-0.72) and 0.75 (95% CI, 0.79-0.71), respectively. Inter-rater reliability preoperatively was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.99-0.96), while postoperatively was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.99-0.95). Mean AA reduction was 5.23 ± 2.81, with an intra-rater reliability 0.15 (95% CI, 0.03-0.34) and inter-rater reliability 0.65 (95% CI, 0.84-0.38).Conclusion:Using current statistical measures and analysis, AA is an acceptable tool for pre- and postoperative facial evaluation when assessed by a group of 10 reviewers. Therefore, apparent age represents a reliable and valid objective observer assigned measure for evaluation of facelift outcomes.

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