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J Health Popul Nutr. 2014 Mar;32(1):51-7.

Assessing diagnostic accuracy of Haemoglobin Colour Scale in real-life setting.


The study was undertaken to determine diagnostic accuracy of Haemoglobin Colour Scale (HCS) in hands of village-based community health workers (CHWs) in real-life community setting in India. Participants (501 women) were randomly selected from 8 villages belonging to a project area of SEWA-Rural, a voluntary organization located in India. After receiving a brief training, CHWs and a research assistant obtained haemoglobin readings using HCS and HemoCue (reference) respectively. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive-values, and likelihood ratios were calculated. Bland-Altman plot was constructed. Mean haemoglobin value, using HCS and HemoCue were 11.02 g/dL (CI 10.9-11.2) and 11.07 g/dL (CI 10.9-11.2) respectively. Mean difference between haemoglobin readings was 0.95 g/dL. Sensitivity of HCS was 0.74 (CI 0.65-0.81) and 0.84 (CI 0.8-0.87) whereas specificity was 0.84 (CI:0.51-0.98) and 0.99 (CI:0.97-0.99) using haemoglobin cutoff limits of 10 g/dL and 7 g/dL respectively. CHWs can accurately diagnose severe and moderately-severe anaemia by using HCS in real-life field condition after a brief training.

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