Inter-Rater Reliability and User-Friendliness of the Delirium Observation Screening Scale

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Delirium is a common and often unrecognized complication of hospitalized elderly patients. Currently, there is no evidence for inter-rater reliability studies between registered nurses in the literature. Furthermore, the user-friendliness of the Delirium Observation Screening Scale (DOSS) has not been tested in Austria.

Methods:

A quantitative cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 141 patients and 36 nurses in an Austrian hospital.

Results:

Analysis of rater-agreement and inter-rater reliability on item level, total score as well as category of delirium risk demonstrated very high agreement. In contrast, no or only fair kappa coefficient were determined. The user-friendliness of the scale was partially satisfactory.

Conclusions:

The very high absolute agreement speaks for the reliability of DOSS although the kappa paradox became obvious. The results of the presented study relate only to the tested setting.

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