A new study investigating the reliability of a scoring system for keel bone fractures has been published in Frontiers of Veterinary Science by researchers of the Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits at the University of Bern, Switzerland. The tool is intended to provide an objective and reliable assessment of keel fractures from radiographic images. Based on a validation effort using 14 participants with various backgrounds at multiple institutions, the researchers found an Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.985 with a confidence interval of 0.974 < ICC < 0.993. The Intraclass correlation coefficient for intra-observer reliability was 0.923 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.879 < ICC < 0.951. The results suggest excellent agreement across and within observers. The researchers further provide a training tool to prepare observers for keel bone fracture assessment from radiographs which is freely available online. Ideally, the training tool and the use of the scoring system will increase validity across different individuals and groups performing assessments of radiographs.
The development of the radiograph scoring system and the trial on its reliability was part of the PhD project of Christina Rufener, funded by the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO with additional support for radiographic equipment by the Eva Husi and Haldimann Foundations. The article is available open-access at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00124/full