Interrater reliability and concurrent validity of oral/dental items in the resident assessment instrument minimum data set 2.0

Gerodontology. 2021 Mar;38(1):66-81. doi: 10.1111/ger.12493. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Objective: To examine interrater reliability and concurrent validity of oral/dental items in the Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) 2.0.

Background: RAI-MDS is a standardised instrument used in nursing to determine health status and nursing needs. The extent to which oral/dental items in the RAI-MDS describe dental treatment needs concerning oral health has been questioned.

Materials and methods: This study evaluated the interrater reliability (dentist vs. nurse) and validity of oral/dental items in the Swiss version of RAI-MDS 2.0 (areas: K-nutritional status, L-oral/dental status) using professional oral examinations as a benchmark. Data of 168 residents of five long-term care facilities in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, were collected within 1 year between October 2017 and December 2018. The statistical evaluation used descriptive statistics and Cohen's kappa (95% CI).

Results: RAI-MDS items K1a, chewing (κ 0.098, 95% CI: 0.004-0.19); K1c, pain (κ 0.039, 95% CI: -0.03 to 0.11); L1a, debris (κ 0.117, 95% CI: 0.02-0.21); L1c, dental status (κ 0.229, 95% CI: 0.12-0.34); L1d, dental disease (κ 0.129, 95% CI: 0.02-0.24); L1e, periodontal diseases (κ -0.005, 95% CI: -0.07 to -0.03); and L1f, daily cleaning (κ -0.031, 95% CI: -0.05 to -0.01) showed weak or no agreement, whereas L1b, denture status (κ 0.634, 95% CI: 0.52-0.75), showed substantial agreement.

Conclusion: Oral/dental items in RAI-MDS lack reliability and validity. Recognition of oral health situation/treatment needs by nursing staff does not seem to be possible with the current version of this tool.

Keywords: RAI-MDS; gerodontology; interrater reliability; long-term care; oral examination; validity.

MeSH terms

  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Oral Health*
  • Reproducibility of Results