The ensemble-averaged impedance cardiogram: An evaluation of scoring methods and interrater reliability


Address reprint requests to: Robert M. Kelsey, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA.


The interrater reliability and concurrent validity of two methods of scoring the ensemble-averaged impedance cardiogram were evaluated. Impedance cardiographic and electrocardiographic signals were recorded from 40 undergraduate men and women during a baseline rest period and a vocal mental arithmetic task period. Recordings were scored by four raters using a conventional method, involving ensemble averaging after careful editing of beat-to-beat waveforms, and a streamlined method, involving ensemble averaging without beat-to-beat editing. Intraclass correlations for interrater reliability exceeded .92, whereas intraclass correlations for concurrent validity exceeded .97, indicating excellent agreement between raters and scoring methods for all cardiac measures. The streamlined method was significantly faster than the conventional method. The results indicate that variations in beat-to-beat editing do not constitute a serious source of error in the ensemble-averaged impedance cardiogram and support the interrater reliability and concurrent validity of the two scoring methods.