Assessing observer variability: a user's guide

Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2017 Jun;7(3):317-324. doi: 10.21037/cdt.2017.03.12.


Some form of the assessment of observer variability may be the most frequent statistical task in medical literature. Still, very little attempt is made to make the reported methods uniform and clear to the reader. This paper provides overview of various measures of observer variability, and a rationale of why using standard error of measurement (SEM) is preferable to other measures of observer variability. The supplemental file contains examples on how to design a proper repeatability and reproducibility assessment, determine appropriate sample size, and test for significance of its findings.

Keywords: Observer variability; statistics.

Publication types

  • Review