Statistical methods for conducting agreement (comparison of clinical tests) and precision (repeatability or reproducibility) studies in optometry and ophthalmology

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2011 Jul;31(4):330-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2011.00851.x. Epub 2011 May 26.


The ever-expanding choice of ocular metrology and imaging equipment has driven research into the validity of their measurements. Consequently, studies of the agreement between two instruments or clinical tests have proliferated in the ophthalmic literature. It is important that researchers apply the appropriate statistical tests in agreement studies. Correlation coefficients are hazardous and should be avoided. The 'limits of agreement' method originally proposed by Altman and Bland in 1983 is the statistical procedure of choice. Its step-by-step use and practical considerations in relation to optometry and ophthalmology are detailed in addition to sample size considerations and statistical approaches to precision (repeatability or reproducibility) estimates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology / standards*
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data
  • Ophthalmology / trends
  • Optometry / standards*
  • Optometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Optometry / trends
  • Qualitative Research
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*