The agreement between self-assessment and clinician assessment of dry eye severity

Robin L. Chalmers, Carolyn G. Begley, Tim Edrington, Barbara Caffery, Dan Nelson, Christopher Snyder, Trefford Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this analysis was to measure the degree of agreement between clinicians' assessment and subjects' self-assessment of dry eye severity in a cross-sectional, observational dry eye study. A secondary purpose was to identify the role of gender and age in that concordance. Methods: In a cross-sectional observational study, 162 dry eye subjects and 48 controls were recruited from clinical databases of ICD-9 codes in 6 clinical sites. Before examination, subjects gave a global self-assessment of the severity of their dry eye from "none" to "extremely severe." After a clinical examination that included dry eye tests, the clinician discussed the subjects' symptoms and then gave global clinician assessment of dry eye from "none" to "severe." We measured the degree of agreement in these global measures. Results: Although the correlation and agreement between clinician and self-assessment was significant (r = 0.720, P = 0.000; weighted K = 0.471; 95% CI = 0.395, 0.548; P = 0.000), the clinician assessment underestimated the severity in 40.9% of the subjects by at least 1 grade compared with the subjects' self-assessment. Over 54% of subjects over age 65 and 43% of the female subjects had their condition underestimated by the clinician (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Clinicians often relatively underestimated the severity of the subjects' self-assessment of dry eye in this clinical study, especially among the elderly and women. Eye care practitioners need better, more quantitative tools for the assessment of ocular surface symptoms to improve the concordance in severity assessment and to meet the needs of this symptomatic patient population by offering them appropriate treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-810
Number of pages7
JournalCornea
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

Keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Dry eye
  • Grading
  • Symptoms

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