The reliability of a handheld wound measurement and documentation device in clinical practice

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2011 May-Jun;38(3):260-4. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e318215fc60.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the precision (intra- and interrater variability) and usability of a new handheld wound measurement device designed to measure wound surface area and depth across a range of typical wound types.

Subjects and setting: Raters included a doctor, a nurse, and a novice who was unfamiliar with wound care and the study equipment. Patients of nurse maude, a community-based home health organization in christchurch, new zealand, were assessed at either the wound clinic or the patient's home.

Method: Five repeated area and depth measurements were made on 5 different wounds by the 3 raters, resulting in up to 75 area and depth measurements. The time taken to make each measurement was also recorded.

Instrument: This study evaluated a handheld wound imaging, measurement, and documentation device (SilhouetteMobile, ARANZ Medical Limited, Christchurch, New Zealand).

Results: Variances and coefficients of variation (CV) between raters (interrater) and within raters (intrarater) over the 5 wounds were calculated, as was the intraclass correlation coefficient. Inter- and intrarater precision for surface area was 3.2% and 2.6%, respectively, and depth 13.5% and 5.5%, respectively; intraclass correlation coefficients for area and depth were 99.76% and 98.95%, respectively. Approximately 2 minutes were required to capture photographic documentation and perform area and depth measurements. Use of the device provided practitioners and patients with immediate feedback on wound healing progress.

Conclusion: The device was found to have low intra- and interrater variation. The photographic record and measurements can be collected in approximately 2 minutes and in a noncontact fashion. A novice user was able to use the device proficiently with 1 hour of training.

MeSH terms

  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Documentation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • New Zealand
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Photogrammetry / instrumentation*
  • Photogrammetry / methods
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing