Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the adequacy of the Clinical LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes) semantic structure as a terminology model for standardized assessment measures.
Methods: After extension of the definitions, 1, 096 items from 35 standardized assessment instruments were dissected into the elements of the Clinical LOINC semantic structure. An additional coder dissected at least one randomly selected item from each instrument. When multiple scale types occurred in a single instrument, a second coder dissected one randomly selected item representative of each scale type.
Results: The results support the adequacy of the Clinical LOINC semantic structure as a terminology model for standardized assessments. Using the revised definitions, the coders were able to dissect into the elements of Clinical LOINC all the standardized assessment items in the sample instruments. Percentage agreement for each element was as follows: component, 100 percent; property, 87.8 percent; timing, 82.9 percent; system/sample, 100 percent; scale, 92.6 percent; and method, 97.6 percent.
Discussion: This evaluation was an initial step toward the representation of standardized assessment items in a manner that facilitates data sharing and re-use. Further clarification of the definitions, especially those related to time and property, is required to improve inter-rater reliability and to harmonize the representations with similar items already in LOINC.