Purpose: Adding inter-examiner reliability studies to the Evidence Base has been identified as a high priority endeavor for health practitioners using palpatory diagnosis and manual techniques; but there are significantly more benefits to be gained for the teachers and students who participate in such studies. This workshop will focus on how and why to conduct such studies. The workshop experience is expected to extend into becoming a better teacher, more precise researcher, and more insightful practitioner.
Background: An inter-examiner reliability study typically uses kappa statistics to compare two examiners’ findings and may be interpreted to reflect whether a test can be effectively taught and learned. This statistic is very sensitive however to both the prevalence of the finding in the population being studied and to the agreement level resulting from the training period. Use of the protocol recommended by the Fédération Internationale de Médecine Manuelle (http://www.iammm.net/?Protocol_Formats) can overcome these potential limitations.
Method: This standardized protocol for clinical reproducibility studies uses a three-phase process (training, overall agreement and test phases) and seeks an overall agreement of at least 0.80 before proceeding to the test phase. During the test phase, each examiner enrolls ten subjects with a positive test and ten with a negative test (total n=40). The workshop will involve small groups working through elements of phase of the process and will provide materials to be able to conduct studies in the future in their home practice site or institution.