Development of the Finnish neurological function testing battery for dogs and its intra- and inter-rater reliability

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 2018 Sep 17;60(1):56

Title: Development of the Finnish neurological function testing battery for dogs and its intra- and inter-rater reliability
Author: Boström, Anna F; Hyytiäinen, Heli K; Koho, Petteri; Cizinauskas, Sigitas; Hielm-Björkman, Anna K
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2018-09-17
Abstract: Abstract Background The Finnish neurological function testing battery for dogs (FINFUN) was developed to meet the increasing demand for objective outcome measures in veterinary physiotherapy. The testing battery should provide consistent, reproducible results and have established face and content validity. Internal consistency and intra- and inter-rater reliability of the FINFUN were also investigated. Results The FINFUN comprised 11 tasks: lying, standing up from lying, sitting, standing up from sitting, standing, proprioceptive positioning, starting to walk, walking, trotting, walking turns and walking stairs. A score from 0 to 4, (0: unable to perform task, 4: performing task with normal motor function) was given for each task, the maximum score being 44. Twenty-six dogs were filmed when performing the FINFUN. Seven observers scored the performances from the video recordings. The FINFUN was considered to have appropriate face and content validity based on a pilot study, clinical experience and critical reflection of the development process. Its internal consistency was excellent, with no Cronbach’s alpha values below 0.922. The intra-rater reliability for total score of experienced observers was almost perfect: 0.999 (observer 1) and 0.994 (observer 2). The inter-rater reliability for both experienced and novice observers’ total scores was also almost perfect (0.919–0.993). Analysis of each individual task showed substantial intra-rater and inter-rater agreement for the tasks “lying” and “sitting”. Conclusions The FINFUN is an objective, valid and reliable tool with standardized scoring criteria for evaluation of motor function in dogs recovering from spinal cord injury.
Subject: Inter-rater reliability
Intra-rater reliability
Motor function
Outcome measure
Testing battery
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