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Keywords:

  • medical ratings;
  • objective treatment intensity;
  • methodology;
  • measurement

Abstract

Background

To develop and validate a method of classifying the intensity of pediatric oncology treatments using four operationally defined categories of treatment intensity.

Procedure

An earlier version of a rating scale, the intensity of treatment rating (ITR), was revised and validated in two phases. In the Scale Construction phase, three criterion raters revised the ITR items based on consensus and item agreement data from pediatric oncologist raters (N = 15). In the Scale Validation phase, the new ITR-2 items were validated using a second set of pediatric oncologists external to our institution (N = 12). In addition, a third group of raters (N = 16), was employed to assess inter-rater reliabilities for 12 patients at varying levels of treatment intensities.

Results

Agreement between criterion ratings and the median of external raters for all 34 items on the ITR-2 was very high (r = 0.95, range 0.71–0.91). When the ITR-2 was used to rate 12 patient examples, the inter-rater agreement among pediatric oncologists was also very high (median agreement between criterion-rater pairs: r = 0.87; overall relatedness among 16 raters: rICC = 0.83).

Conclusions

The revised ITR Scale 2.0 (ITR-2) is a valid and reliable scale for classifying the intensity of pediatric oncology treatments. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;48:673–677. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.