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Comparison of 2 Wound Volume Measurement Methods

Langemo, Diane K. PhD, RN; Melland, Helen PhD, RN; Olson, Bette MS, RN; Hanson, Darlene MS, RN; Hunter, Susan MS, RN; Henly, Susan J. PhD, RN; Thompson, Patricia MS, RN

Features: Original Investigation

OBJECTIVE: To compare 2 wound volume measurement techniques, the Kundin device and stereophotogrammetry, on 2 wound shapes.

DESIGN: Using 2 wound measurement techniques, the interrater and intrarater reliability and the bias and standard error of measurement of an L-shaped and a pear-shaped plaster of paris wound model were assessed.

SETTING: A clinical laboratory of a school of nursing.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-four raters, all but 2 being registered nurses, measured each of the wounds using both techniques.

INTERVENTIONS: Each rater measured each wound twice using each method in a randomly assigned order defined on a card that was drawn from a box. Measurements were recorded on a researcher-designed data collection form, which included some demographic data related to each participant.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The study hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference in accuracy between the 2 wound volume measurement methods.

RESULTS: The least biased and most accurate technique was stereophotogrammetry, with the smallest standard of error of measurement. Interrater reliability of average ratings was identical for both methods at 0.98. For single ratings, stereophotogrammetry was slightly higher than the Kundin device. Intrarater reliability was higher on the pear-shaped wound for the Kundin device, which had lower interrater reliability, suggesting that nurses were consistent in the direction and size of personal error. Intrarater reliability for stereophotogrammetry was identical to that of the Kundin device for the L-shaped wound and lower for the pear-shaped wound.

CONCLUSIONS: Although both techniques have acceptable accuracy, stereophotogrammetry is more accurate and has more clinical applications.

Diane K. Langemo, PhD, RN, is the Chester Fritiz Distinguished Professor of Nursing, Emeritus; Helen Melland, PhD, RN, is an Associate Professor of Nursing; Bette Olson, MS, RN, is an Associate Professor; Darlene Hanson, MS, RN, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing; Susan Hunter, MS, RN, is an Associate Professor; and Patricia Thompson, MS, RN, is a Clinical Instructor at the University of North Dakota College of Nursing, Grand Forks, ND. Susan J. Henly, PhD, RN, is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Katherine Maidenberg, BA, MS, University of North Dakota, contributed to the statistical analysis.

This research was supported in part by Vista Medical, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and Knoll Pharmaceutical.

Submitted November 2, 1998; accepted in revised form December 6, 1999.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.