Since its early development, the Bedside Shivering Assessment Scale (BSAS) has had only initial psychometric testing. Before this instrument is incorporated into routine practice, its interrater reliability should be explored in a diverse group of practitioners.
This prospective nonrandomized study used a panel of 5 observers who completed 100 paired assessments. Observers independently scored patients for shivering by using the BSAS. Kappa statistics were determined by using SAS version 9.4 with BSAS scores treated as ordinal data.
A weighted kappa value of 0.48 from 100 paired observations of 22 patients indicates moderate agreement of the BSAS scores. Most of the BSAS scores were 0 or 1; dichotomizing shivering as little or no shivering versus significant shivering resulted in a kappa of 0.66 (substantial agreement). No relationship was found between timing of assessment or the role of the practitioner and the likelihood of both observers assigning the same BSAS score.
The BSAS has adequate interrater reliability to be considered for use among a diverse group of practitioners.