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Vet J. 2006 Mar;171(2):281-6. Epub 2004 Dec 10.

The intra- and inter-assessor reliability of measurement of functional outcome by lameness scoring in horses.

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Department of Anatomy, Equine Centre, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK.


The objective of this study was to assess the reliability of lameness scoring in horses. One veterinary surgeon examined nineteen lame horses on four occasions. Gait was recorded by camcorder, and scored from 0 to 10 ranging from sound to non-weight bearing lameness. A global score of overall change in lameness during the study was also determined for each horse. To measure intra-assessor reliability of the scoring systems, one veterinary surgeon scored videotapes of the horses' gaits on two occasions. To measure inter-assessor reliability, three veterinary surgeons viewed the videotapes, assigning individual lameness scores plus global scores to each horse. Reliability of individual lameness scoring was good intra-assessor, but only just within our acceptable limit inter-assessor. However, global scoring of change in lameness throughout the study was found to be reliable overall. Since clinician scoring is commonly used to assess lameness in horses, this is an important finding, fundamental to future clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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