Assessors

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Kinds of Assessors

  • blinded assessor
  • expert assessor
  • independent assessor
  • risk assessor
  • trained assessor


  • Selected Abstracts


    THE RELIABILITY OF NAÏVE ASSESSORS IN SENSORY EVALUATION VISUALIZED BY PRAGMATICAL MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS

    JOURNAL OF FOOD QUALITY, Issue 5 2002
    M.G. O'SULLIVAN
    The first part of this paper demonstrates a simple graphical way to visualize estimated variances, in terms of a plot of the total initial variance ("SIGNAL") versus residual variance ("NOISE"), as a pragmatic alternative to tables of F-tests. The recently developed Procrustes rotation in the bilinear "jack-knifing" form is then presented as a method for simplifying the comparison of PLS Regression models from different data sets. These methods are applied to sensory data in order to study if naïve (untrained) sensory panelists can produce reliable descriptions of systematic differences between various test meals. The results confirm that three panels of 15 naïve assessors each could give repeatable intersubjective description of the most dominant sensory variation dimensions. [source]


    RELIABILITY OF SENSORY ASSESSORS: ISSUES OF COMPLEXITY

    JOURNAL OF SENSORY STUDIES, Issue 1 2009
    JANNA BITNES
    ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to investigate whether the sensory performance of assessors in a sensory panel maybe explained by complexity of evaluated product. We aimed to investigate whether we could observe a decline in sensory performance when increasing the complexity of the product. The products increased in number of constituents from mixtures of sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid and caffeine in water, to the foods ice tea and tomato soup constituting different levels of the same substances. Candidates who succeeded evaluating one product were not always successful evaluating others. Few subjects were successful in everything. The conclusion was that there is only minor systematic decline with increasing complexity of products. The authors emphasize that definition of complexity involves more than just counting number of constituents and taste sensations, and suggest that minor differences in the task given to the assessor might explain different performances. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Practical use of the research presented in the present paper is in a sensory evaluation context. It is important for the users of sensory data to find out how the profiling should be organized to achieve optimum output, and in specific, the need for extensive training when dealing with a more complex product. The present study hypothesized that sensory assessors would have more difficulties evaluating a more complex product. However, the results showed that panel leaders should be more concerned with the task variables in the sensory evaluation. Even a minor shift in task variables had a stronger impact on the performance and reliability of the assessors than increasing number of constituents and/or stimuli sensations of the product. This study did not demonstrate a need for extensive training when dealing with a more complex product as hypothesized. [source]


    COMPARISON OF DISCRIMINATION ABILITY BETWEEN A PANEL OF BLIND ASSESSORS AND A PANEL OF SIGHTED ASSESSORS

    JOURNAL OF SENSORY STUDIES, Issue 1 2005
    ANDREA MUCCI
    ABSTRACT The objective of this work was to compare a panel of blind assessors with one of sighted assessors in the discrimination of food products. Each panel had 20 screened and trained assessors. Five commercial food products were used: crackers, liver paste, powdered orange juice mix, Reggiano cheese and yogurt. Slight flavor and/or texture modifications were introduced for adequate discrimination difficulty. Each pair of products was tested by both panels using the triangle test and a scaled difference from control test. Numbers of correct answers for the triangle test were similar for both panels. There were minor differences between the panels in the difference from control test, due to the sighted panel having more training in the use of the scale. Overall the panels of trained blind and sighted assessors were equivalent in their performance. [source]


    CPA assessment , the regional assessors' experience

    CYTOPATHOLOGY, Issue 2007
    G. Guthrie
    With the introduction in January 2006 of the new posts of Regional Assessors, the process and focus of CPA assessment changed to reflect the inclusion in the current standards of Quality Management systems and processes. Regional Assessors, trained in Quality Management Systems and their assessment against international standards, now form a vital part of the CPA assessment teams, looking specifically at this aspect of laboratory service provision. Their role in the new assessment process will be explained. The presentation will cover differences and similarities in the nature and number of non-compliances experienced since April 2006 when the new format of assessment was introduced. It will also look at a new format of timetable for assessment visits and explain the benefits of good two-way communication between all parties involved in the process - the laboratory, the assessors, particularly the Regional Assessor assigned to that site, and CPA Office staff. Understanding what is required by the standards, particularly in terms of evidential material, their interpretation and their classification of status , Critical, Non-Critical or Observation - is an aspect of assessment which is often not well understood. The presentation will seek to clarify these issues. The successful and timely clearance by laboratories of any non-compliances raised during the visits is vital to the achievement of accredited status and the presentation will give guidance as to how this is best achieved. The current standards, based on the international ISO 15189 standards, are considerably more challenging than the old ones. There is now a significant emphasis on Quality Management and its understanding, ethos and implementation within the laboratory, a key element which underpins all aspects of a laboratory's service. The achievement of accredited status assures our users of,the type of client and patient focused service expected of a modern laboratory. [source]


    Assessor or assessee: How student learning improves by giving and receiving peer feedback

    BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
    Lan Li
    This study investigated the relationship between the quality of peer assessment and the quality of student projects in a technology application course for teacher education students. Forty-three undergraduate student participants completed the assigned projects. During the peer assessment process, students first anonymously rated and commented on two randomly assigned peers' projects, and they were then asked to improve their projects based on the feedback they received. Two independent raters blindly evaluated student initial and final projects. Data analysis indicated that when controlling for the quality of the initial projects, there was a significant relationship between the quality of peer feedback students provided for others and the quality of the students' own final projects. However, no significant relationship was found between the quality of peer feedback students received and the quality of their own final projects. This finding supported a prior research claim that active engagement in reviewing peers' projects may facilitate student learning. [source]


    CPA assessment , the regional assessors' experience

    CYTOPATHOLOGY, Issue 2007
    G. Guthrie
    With the introduction in January 2006 of the new posts of Regional Assessors, the process and focus of CPA assessment changed to reflect the inclusion in the current standards of Quality Management systems and processes. Regional Assessors, trained in Quality Management Systems and their assessment against international standards, now form a vital part of the CPA assessment teams, looking specifically at this aspect of laboratory service provision. Their role in the new assessment process will be explained. The presentation will cover differences and similarities in the nature and number of non-compliances experienced since April 2006 when the new format of assessment was introduced. It will also look at a new format of timetable for assessment visits and explain the benefits of good two-way communication between all parties involved in the process - the laboratory, the assessors, particularly the Regional Assessor assigned to that site, and CPA Office staff. Understanding what is required by the standards, particularly in terms of evidential material, their interpretation and their classification of status , Critical, Non-Critical or Observation - is an aspect of assessment which is often not well understood. The presentation will seek to clarify these issues. The successful and timely clearance by laboratories of any non-compliances raised during the visits is vital to the achievement of accredited status and the presentation will give guidance as to how this is best achieved. The current standards, based on the international ISO 15189 standards, are considerably more challenging than the old ones. There is now a significant emphasis on Quality Management and its understanding, ethos and implementation within the laboratory, a key element which underpins all aspects of a laboratory's service. The achievement of accredited status assures our users of,the type of client and patient focused service expected of a modern laboratory. [source]


    More than one Wavelength: Identifying, Understanding and Resolving Conflicts of Interest between People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Family Carers

    JOURNAL OF APPLIED RESEARCH IN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, Issue 1 2001
    V. Williams
    The present paper describes conflicts of interest in families which include someone with intellectual disabilities. Data were taken from a study concerned with the 1995 Carers Act. The research examined the experiences and views of 51 families who had some kind of assessment by a social services department. Cases were analysed where it was found that carers, the people for whom they cared and the assessors did not agree about such conflicts. Assessors sometimes stereotyped families and spoke of conflicts of interest when the situation was more complex. In particular, the real conflict was often between the whole family and an inadequate service system that did not offer enough support or choices to the individual. Conflicts which had occurred were related to three major motives driving carers: (1) the need for a break from caring; (2) the need to speak for their disabled relative; and (3) their concern for standards of behaviour. The present authors report on how these situations were handled by assessors and conclude with some recommendations for good carer assessments which will help to resolve conflicts of interest. A greater degree of informed choice for individuals with intellectual disabilities will in itself resolve many potential conflicts of interest. [source]


    Influence of Visual Masking Technique on the Assessment of 2 Red Wines by Trained and Consumer Assessors

    JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, Issue 6 2008
    C.F. Ross
    ABSTRACT:, During sensory evaluation assessments, visual masking techniques are frequently employed to disguise color differences between samples and minimize perceptual bias. Particularly in wine, the impact of these masking techniques on panelist evaluations has not been well studied. The objective of this study was to study the influence of visual masking techniques on the aroma and flavor assessment of 2 red wines and observe the impact of these techniques on trained and consumer sensory panels. Specific masking techniques included (1) blue wine glass/white illumination; (2) clear glass/red illumination; and (3) clear glass/white illumination. Ten panelists were trained to recognize 7 aroma and flavor attributes, while consumer panelists (n= 80) evaluated attributes and liking. For the trained panel, the visual masking technique affected only perceived spicy flavor of Syrah (P, 0.05), with the clear glass/red illumination resulting in more intense spicy flavor compared to the other 2 conditions. Principal components analysis showed that for the 2 red wines evaluated by the trained panel, red illumination resulted in higher spicy attributes and perceived astringency while wines served in blue wine glasses were higher in perceived astringency. For the consumer panel, red illumination resulted in wines higher in perceived astringency and blue wine glasses resulted in wines higher in perceived flavor liking. These results indicated that the visual masking techniques may influence both trained and consumer panel evaluation of aroma and flavor attributes of red wine. However, beyond red wine, this study makes the larger point that the choice of masking technique does impact sensory evaluations. [source]


    Perception of Bread: A Comparison of Consumers and Trained Assessors

    JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE, Issue 2 2005
    Margrethe Hersleth
    ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to investigate consumers' perception of bread and to compare the used vocabulary with descriptive attributes used by a trained panel. Perceived appropriateness of breads were also studied and related to the sensory perception. Seven different types of bread were chosen for the study. The breads were presented to 30 consumers, and the repertory grid method was used to obtain information about sensory perception and appropriateness of use. The breads were also presented to a trained sensory panel performing sensory profiling. Multivariate analyses of the data showed that the latent structure in consumers' perception of a selection of breads was similar to the latent structure in a trained panel's perception of the same breads. For verbal description of the texture, the 2 panels used many identical words. Moreover, multivariate analyses revealed the relationship between consumers' perception of the breads and the appropriateness of use. [source]


    Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Elementary Schools: Analysis of Contextual Conditions

    JOURNAL OF SCHOOL HEALTH, Issue 10 2010
    Thomas L. McKenzie PHD
    BACKGROUND: Little is known about children's leisure-time physical activity (PA) at school and how it is associated with contextual variables. The purpose of this study was to objectively assess children's voluntary PA during 3 daily periods and examine modifiable contextual factors. METHODS: We conducted SOPLAY (System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth) observations before school, during recess, and at lunchtime in 137 targeted activity areas in 13 elementary schools over 18 months. During observations, each child was coded as Sedentary, Walking, or Vigorous, and simultaneous entries were made for area characteristics (accessibility, usability, presence of supervision, loose equipment, and organized activities). Logistic regression analysis was used to test associations between PA and area characteristics. RESULTS: Assessors made 2349 area visits and observed 36,995 children. Boys had more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; 66.2 vs 60.0%, p < .001) and more vigorous PA (29.8 vs 24.6%; p < .001) than girls. Areas were typically accessible and usable, but provided organized activities infrequently (16.5%). Odds of engaging in MVPA were greater during lunch and recess than before school and in areas with play equipment (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Children accrued a substantial amount of voluntary PA during leisure time at school. Their PA would likely be increased if school playground equipment was more readily available and if supervisors were taught to provide active games and promote PA rather than suppress it. [source]


    Retinal Evaluation After 810 nm Dioderm Laser Removal of Eyelashes

    DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY, Issue 9 2002
    Randal T. H. Pham MD
    background. When operating hair removal lasers on the face or in the periorbital region, even with an ocular shield in place, patients often report seeing "flashing lights" each time the laser is fired. This phenomenon suggests stimulation of retinal photoreceptors and raises laser safety issues. objective. To perform retinal electrophysiologic studies to evaluate the safety of hair removal lasers in the periorbital region. methods. Five patients with severe trichiasis secondary to trachoma were studied. The 810 nm Dioderm laser (Cynosure, Inc., Chelmsford, MA) was used to treat the eyelash follicles on the lower eyelid of each patient. Cox III metal eye shields (Oculo-Plastik, Inc., Montreal, Canada) were placed behind the eyelids of both eyes during the laser procedure. Prior to irradiation, a comprehensive ophthalmic evaluation including pupillary and slit-lamp examination, funduscopy, and full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) was performed. A comprehensive ophthalmic evaluation including ERG testing was repeated 30 minutes and 3,6 months after completion of treatment. An independent blinded assessor evaluated the ERG studies. Subjective reports of laser light sensation, pain, and discomfort during and after the laser procedure were also assessed. results. There was no detectable change in slit-lamp, pupillary, or funduscopic evaluations after periorbital laser irradiation. Similarly the pre- and posttreatment ERGs were unchanged. Three patients reported seeing flashing lights during the procedure. conclusion. We found no ERG evidence of retinal damage after laser hair removal in the periorbital region, with Cox III-type ocular shields over the eyes, even when patients subjectively reported "flashing lights" during laser irradiation. [source]


    Randomized controlled trial of physiotherapy in 56 children with cerebral palsy followed for 18 months

    DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & CHILD NEUROLOGY, Issue 1 2001
    E Bower PhD MCSP Senior Research Fellow
    This study aimed to determine whether motor function and performance is better enhanced by intensive physiotherapy or collaborative goal-setting in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Participants were a convenience sample of 56 children with bilateral CP classified at level III or below on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), aged between 3 and 12 years. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used to compare the effects of routine amounts of physiotherapy with intensive amounts, and to compare the use of generalized aims set by the child's physiotherapist with the use of specific, measurable goals negotiated by the child's physiotherapist with each child, carer, and teacher. Following the six-month treatment period there was a further six-month period of observation. Changes in motor function and performance were assessed by a masked assessor using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and the Gross Motor Performance Measure (GMPM) at three-month intervals. There was no statistically significant difference in the scores achieved between intensive and routine amounts of therapy or between aim-directed and goal-directed therapy in either function or performance. Inclusion of additional covariates of age and severity levels showed a trend towards a statistically significant difference in children receiving intensive therapy during the treatment period. This advantage declined over the subsequent six months during which therapy had reverted to its usual amount. Differences in goal-setting procedures did not produce any detectable effect on the acquisition of gross motor function or performance. [source]


    An overview of the use of quantitative structure-activity relationships for ranking and prioritizing large chemical inventories for environmental risk assessments

    ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY & CHEMISTRY, Issue 8 2003
    Christine L. Russom
    Abstract Ecological risk assessments for chemical stressors are used to establish linkages between likely exposure concentrations and adverse effects to ecological receptors. At times, it is useful to conduct screening risk assessments to assist in prioritizing or ranking chemicals on the basis of potential hazard and exposure assessment parameters. Ranking of large chemical inventories can provide evidence for focusing research and/or cleanup efforts on specific chemicals of concern. Because of financial and time constraints, data gaps exist, and the risk assessor is left with decisions on which models to use to estimate the parameter of concern. In this review, several methods are presented for using quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) in conducting hazard screening or screening-level risk assessments. The ranking methods described include those related to current regulatory issues associated with chemical inventories from Canada, Europe, and the United States and an example of a screening-level risk assessment conducted on chemicals associated with a watershed in the midwest region of the United States. [source]


    Myofascial Trigger Points, Neck Mobility, and Forward Head Posture in Episodic Tension-Type Headache

    HEADACHE, Issue 5 2007
    César Fernández-de-las-Peñas PT
    Objective.,To assess the differences in the presence of trigger points (TrPs) in head and neck muscles, forward head posture (FHP) and neck mobility between episodic tension-type headache (ETTH) subjects and healthy controls. In addition, we assess the relationship between these muscle TrPs, FHP, neck mobility, and several clinical variables concerning the intensity and the temporal profile of headache. Background.,TTH is a headache in which musculoskeletal disorders of the craniocervical region might play an important role in its pathogenesis. Design.,A blinded, controlled pilot study. Methods.,Fifteen ETTH subjects and 15 matched controls without headache were studied. TrPs in both upper trapezius, both sternocleidomastoids, and both temporalis muscles were identified according to Simons and Gerwin diagnostic criteria (tenderness in a hypersensible spot within a palpable taut band, local twitch response elicited by snapping palpation, and elicited referred pain with palpation). Side-view pictures of each subject were taken in both sitting and standing positions, in order to assess FHP by measuring the craniovertebral angle. A cervical goniometer was employed to measure neck mobility. All measures were taken by a blinded assessor. A headache diary was kept for 4 weeks in order to assess headache intensity, frequency, and duration. Results.,The mean number of TrPs for each ETTH subject was 3.7 (SD: 1.3), of which 1.9 (SD: 0.9) were active, and 1.8 (SD: 0.9) were latent. Control subjects only had latent TrPs (mean: 1.5; SD: 1). TrP occurrence between the 2 groups was significantly different for active TrPs (P < .001), but not for latent TrPs (P > .05). Differences in the distribution of TrPs were significant for the right upper trapezius muscles (P= .04), the left sternocleidomastoid (P= .03), and both temporalis muscles (P < .001). Within the ETTH group, headache intensity, frequency, and duration outcomes did not differ depending on TrP activity, whether the TrP was active or latent. The craniovertebral angle was smaller, ie, there was a greater FHP, in ETTH patients than in healthy controls for both sitting and standing positions (P < .05). ETTH subjects with active TrPs in the analyzed muscles had a greater FHP than those with latent TrPs in both sitting and standing positions, though differences were only significant for certain muscles. Finally, ETTH patients also showed lesser neck mobility than healthy controls in the total range of motion as well as in half-cycles (except for cervical extension), although neck mobility did not seem to influence headache parameters. Conclusions.,Active TrPs in the upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, and temporalis muscles were more common in ETTH subjects than in healthy controls, although TrP activity was not related to any clinical variable concerning the intensity and the temporal profile of headache. ETTH patients showed greater FHP and lesser neck mobility than healthy controls, although both disorders were not correlated with headache parameters. [source]


    Trigger Points in the Suboccipital Muscles and Forward Head Posture in Tension-Type Headache

    HEADACHE, Issue 3 2006
    César Fernández-de-las-Peñas PT
    Objective.,To assess the presence of trigger points (TrPs) in the suboccipital muscles and forward head posture (FHP) in subjects with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) and in healthy subjects, and to evaluate the relationship of TrPs and FHP with headache intensity, duration, and frequency. Background.,Tension-type headache (TTH) is a prototypical headache in which myofascial TrPs in the cervical and pericranial musculature can play an important role. Design.,A blinded, controlled pilot study. Methods.,Twenty CTTH subjects and 20 matched controls without headache participated. TrPs were identified by eliciting referred pain with palpation, and increased referred pain with muscle contraction. Side-view pictures of each subject were taken in sitting and standing positions, in order to assess FHP by measuring the craniovertebral angle. Both measures were taken by a blinded assessor. A headache diary was kept for 4 weeks in order to assess headache intensity, frequency, and duration. Results.,Sixty-five percent (13/20) CTTH subjects showed active TrPs and 35% (7/20) had latent TrPs in the suboccipital muscles. Six (30%) controls also had latent TrPs. Differences in the presence of suboccipital muscle TrPs between both the groups were significant for active TrPs (P < .001) but not for latent TrPs (P > .5). CTTH subjects with active TrPs reported a greater headache intensity and frequency than those with latent TrPs (P < .05). The degree of FHP was greater in CTTH subjects than in controls in both sitting and standing positions (P < .01). Within the CTTH group, there was a negative correlation between the craniovertebral angle and the frequency of headache (rs=,0.6, P < .01, in sitting position; rs=,0.5, P < .05, in standing position). CTTH subjects with active TrPs had a greater FHP than those with latent TrPs, though this difference was not significant. Conclusions.,Suboccipital active TrPs and FHP were associated with CTTH. CCTH subjects with active TrPs reported a greater headache intensity and frequency than those with latent TrPs. The degree of FHP correlated positively with headache duration, headache frequency, and the presence of suboccipital active TrPs. [source]


    Evaluation of criteria used to assess the quality of aquatic toxicity data

    INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2005
    Dustin A. Hobbs
    Abstract Good quality toxicity data underpins robust hazard and risk assessments in aquatic systems and the derivation of water quality guidelines for ecosystems. Hence, an objective scheme to assess the quality of toxicity data forms an important part of this process. The variation of scores from 2 research papers using the Australasian ecotoxicity database (AED) quality assessment scheme was evaluated by 23 ecotoxicologists. The results showed that the quality class that the assessors gave each paper varied by less than 10% when compared with a quality score agreed a priori between the authors of this study. It was determined that the majority of the variation in each assessment was due to ambiguous or poorly written assessment criteria, information that was difficult to find, or information in the paper that was overlooked by the assessor. This led to refinements of the assessment criteria in the AED, which resulted in a 16% improvement (i.e., reduction) in the mean variation of scores for the 2 papers when compared with the a priori scores. The improvement in consensus among different assessors evaluating the same research papers suggests that the data quality assessment scheme proposed in this article provides a more robust scheme for assessing the quality of aquatic toxicity data than methods currently available. [source]


    Estimating readiness for change in anorexia nervosa: Comparing clients, clinicians, and research assessors

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EATING DISORDERS, Issue 3 2002
    Josie Geller
    Abstract Objective This research compared the relative ability of clients, clinicians, and research assessors in estimating readiness for change in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Method Fifty-six individuals with a current or past diagnosis of anorexia nervosa made ratings of the extent to which they perceived themselves to be ready for treatment and recovery. Clinicians and research assessors made the same ratings based on their impressions following clinical and research assessments, respectively. The outcome variables included questionnaire measures of change activities, assigned behavioral tasks, and clients' decision to accept intensive treatment. Results While research assessor and client ratings predicted questionnaire recovery activities, only research assessor ratings predicted completion of behavioral tasks and clients' decision to accept intensive treatment. Clinician ratings were not related to any of the questionnaire or behavioral recovery activity measures. Discussion Conditions favoring the accurate prediction of readiness for treatment and recovery are discussed, and implications for clinical practice are addressed. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 31: 251,260, 2002; DOI 10.1002/eat.10045 [source]


    Multilevel investigation of variation in HoNOS ratings by mental health professionals: a naturalistic study of consecutive referrals

    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF METHODS IN PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH, Issue 3 2004
    R. Ecob
    Episodes of mental healthcare in specialist psychiatric services often begin with the assessment of clinical and psychosocial needs of patients by healthcare professionals. Particularly for patients with complex needs or severe problems, ratings of clinical and social functioning at the start of each episode of care may serve as a baseline against which subsequent measures can be compared. Currently, little is known about service variations in such assessments on referrals from primary care. We set out to quantify variability in initial assessments performed by healthcare professionals in three CMHTs in Bristol (UK) using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS). We tested the hypothesis that variations in HoNOS total and sub-scale scores are related to referral source (general practices), healthcare assessor (in CMHTs) and the assessor's professional group. Statistical analysis was performed using multilevel variance components models with cross-classified random effects. We found that variation due to assessor substantially exceeded that due to referral source (general practices). Furthermore, patient variance differed by assessor profession for the HoNOS , Impairment scores. Assessor variance differed by assessor profession for the HoNOS , Social scores. As HoNOS total and subscale scores show much larger variation by assessor than by referral source, investigations of HoNOS scores must take assessors into account. Services should implement and evaluate interdisciplinary training to improve consistency in use of rating thresholds; such initiatives could be evaluated using these extensions of multilevel models. Future research should aim to integrate routine diagnostic data with continuous outcomes to address selection effects (of patients to assessors) better. Copyright © 2004 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]


    Ethical and social dilemmas in community-based controlled trials in situations of poverty: a view from a South African project

    JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 4 2002
    Nosisana Nama
    Abstract All psychological and social research presents ethical dilemmas, many of which centre around the difficulties which flow from the power imbalances between those conducting the research and the research respondents or participants. Issues of power are magnified in research undertaken in contexts of poverty, and there is a burgeoning literature on ethical issues in research in developing countries. In this article, we augment the existing literature by focusing on the experiences of an assessor working in a controlled trial of a mother,infant intervention in a poor South African community. We consider issues of community expectations, the presentation to our project of physical health problems, the issue of HIV/AIDS, cultural beliefs which impact on the research, child protection issues, and the tensions between research assessment and ubuntu,a cultural norm which requires helpful engagement with others. We suggest that our experiences may assist with the development of further research. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    RELIABILITY OF SENSORY ASSESSORS: ISSUES OF COMPLEXITY

    JOURNAL OF SENSORY STUDIES, Issue 1 2009
    JANNA BITNES
    ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to investigate whether the sensory performance of assessors in a sensory panel maybe explained by complexity of evaluated product. We aimed to investigate whether we could observe a decline in sensory performance when increasing the complexity of the product. The products increased in number of constituents from mixtures of sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid and caffeine in water, to the foods ice tea and tomato soup constituting different levels of the same substances. Candidates who succeeded evaluating one product were not always successful evaluating others. Few subjects were successful in everything. The conclusion was that there is only minor systematic decline with increasing complexity of products. The authors emphasize that definition of complexity involves more than just counting number of constituents and taste sensations, and suggest that minor differences in the task given to the assessor might explain different performances. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Practical use of the research presented in the present paper is in a sensory evaluation context. It is important for the users of sensory data to find out how the profiling should be organized to achieve optimum output, and in specific, the need for extensive training when dealing with a more complex product. The present study hypothesized that sensory assessors would have more difficulties evaluating a more complex product. However, the results showed that panel leaders should be more concerned with the task variables in the sensory evaluation. Even a minor shift in task variables had a stronger impact on the performance and reliability of the assessors than increasing number of constituents and/or stimuli sensations of the product. This study did not demonstrate a need for extensive training when dealing with a more complex product as hypothesized. [source]


    PANEL PERFORMANCE AND NUMBER OF EVALUATIONS IN A DESCRIPTIVE SENSORY STUDY

    JOURNAL OF SENSORY STUDIES, Issue 4 2004
    JÉRÔME PAGÈS
    ABSTRACT The assessor performance is a key point in a sensory evaluation. In particular, at the end of a session, a decrease of the performance can be feared. We propose to analyze this performance with various criteria: usual ones as the main product effect or the error variance; a new one measuring the perceived products variability. The performance can then be studied all along the session from two points of view: in taking into account the only products tested at a given instant (named instantaneous); in taking into account all the products tested up to a given instant (named cumulative). In the presented example, in spite of the large number of products successively tested by each assessor, the instantaneous performance of the panel shows no significant deterioration. Furthermore, when the number of products tested by each assessor increases, more significant product effects can be obtained thanks to the accumulation of the amount of data. This shows that the number of products that can be reasonably studied by one assessor during one session is generally underestimated. [source]


    SENSORY CHARACTERIZATION OF BOAR TAINT IN ENTIRE MALE PIGS

    JOURNAL OF SENSORY STUDIES, Issue 4 2000
    MARIA FONT I FURNOLS
    ABSTRACT Boar taint has been associated with the pork from entire males. Sensory profiles have been carried out in several studies showing the multidimensional property of boar taint. However, no agreement on the number and kind of descriptors has been reached. The aim of this study was to describe the sensory characteristics of boar taint using a modified Free Choice Profiling technique. The pig meat samples were selected according to their different analytical levels of androstenone and skatole and were sensorially evaluated in duplicate. After selecting the discriminant descriptors for each assessor a Generalized Procrustes Analysis was carried out. Samples with the highest analytical levels of androstenone were characterized by " urine", " sweat", " chemical" and " rancid" odor and flavor, " turpentine", " viscera", " pig/animal" and " naphthalene" odor, and " piquant" flavor. Samples with the highest analytical levels of skatole were characterized by " sweat" odor and flavor, " stable", " manure" and " naphthalene" odor and " pig/animal" flavor. In general the results suggested that both compounds are responsible for certain sensory defects, although the samples with a high androstenone content displayed the majority of them. [source]


    Reproducibility of the Italian ISQ method for quality classification of bread wheats: An evaluation by expert assessors

    JOURNAL OF THE SCIENCE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, Issue 5 2007
    Giorgia Foca
    Abstract The great variety of different bakery products in Italy has led to the development of a method, the Synthetic Index of Quality (Indice Sintetico di Qualità, ISQ), for the classification of bread wheats in different quality categories. Based on chemical and rheological properties, each wheat sample is assigned to the most suitable class by an expert assessor. In many cases this procedure is not straightforward, making the class assignation uncertain, thus leading to the possibility of controversies during the trading phase. In the present study, in order to have a quantitative estimate of the validity and reliability of this procedure, a panel composed of nine expert assessors was utilised for the repeated evaluation of 100 samples of bread wheats of various qualities. The results suggest that the proposed approach can be used both to monitor the reliability of the single assessors, and to identify samples whose class assignation is reasonably indubitable, e.g. to be used for the development of automated classification methods. Moreover, the analysis of the most uncertain assignation cases can be useful in order to enhance the ISQ classification method itself. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry [source]


    Radiosurgery versus carbon dioxide laser for dermatochalasis correction in Asians,

    LASERS IN SURGERY AND MEDICINE, Issue 2 2007
    Carol S. Yu MBBS (Hons), MRCS (Edin)
    Abstract Background and Objectives Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and radiosurgery are techniques commonly employed in oculoplastic surgery. However, there is no literature comparing their results in blepharoplasty. Study Design/Materials and Methods Twenty Chinese patients with dermatochalasis underwent radiosurgery in one upper eyelid and CO2 laser in the contralateral eyelid. Intraoperative time, hemorrhage, and pain control were assessed. Subjects were evaluated at postoperative 1 hour, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months for hemorrhage and wound healing by a masked assessor. Results All patients reported minimal pain with either technique. A significantly shorter operative time was achieved with CO2 laser, with better intraoperative hemostasis. There was no significant difference in postoperative hemorrhage and wound swelling between radiosurgery and CO2 laser. No significant intraoperative complications were noted. Conclusions Both radiosurgery and CO2 laser are equally safe and effective for upper lid blepharoplasty. CO2 laser achieves shorter operative time with superior intraoperative hemostasis. Lasers Surg. Med. 39:176,179, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


    Initial evaluation of the first year of the Foundation Assessment Programme

    MEDICAL EDUCATION, Issue 1 2009
    Helena Davies
    Objectives, This study represents an initial evaluation of the first year (F1) of the Foundation Assessment Programme (FAP), in line with Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) assessment principles. Methods, Descriptive analyses were undertaken for total number of encounters, assessors and trainees, mean number of assessments per trainee, mean number of assessments per assessor, time taken for the assessments, mean score and standard deviation for each method. Reliability was estimated using generalisability coefficients. Pearson correlations were used to explore relationships between instruments. The study sample included 3640 F1 trainees from 10 English deaneries. Results, A total of 2929 trainees submitted at least one of all four methods. A mean of 16.6 case-focused assessments were submitted per F1 trainee. Based on a return per trainee of six of each of the case-focused assessments, and eight assessors for multi-source feedback, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) ranged between 0.4 and 0.48. The estimated time required for this is 9 hours per trainee per year. Scores increased over time for all instruments and correlations between methods were in keeping with their intended focus of assessment, providing evidence of validity. Conclusions, The FAP is feasible and achieves acceptable reliability. There is some evidence to support its validity. Collated assessment data should form part of the evidence considered for selection and career progression decisions although work is needed to further develop the FAP. It is in any case of critical importance for the profession's accountability to the public. [source]


    The reliability and validity of a matrix to assess the completed reflective personal development plans of general practitioners

    MEDICAL EDUCATION, Issue 4 2006
    Chris Roberts
    Introduction, We wished to determine whether assessors could make reliable and valid judgements about the quality of completed reflective personal development plans (PDPs) for the purpose of accrediting UK general practitioners (GPs) for a postgraduate education allowance using a marking matrix, and secondly, to plan a feasible model of PDP assessment in the context of forthcoming GP appraisal/revalidation that would overcome the main sources of error identified from this study. Methods, Within generalisability theory, a variance components analysis on PDP scores estimated reliability and the effect on them of varying, for example, the number of assessors. We investigated the construct validity of the matrix through its internal consistency and detection of differences in the quality of PDPs. Results, For a single PDP and one assessor, 37.6% of the variance in scores was due to true differences in the quality of the PDP. Between 5 and 7 PDP assessors are needed to achieve summative reliability of greater than 0.8. While increasing the number of judges is important, reliability could also be improved by addressing assessor subjectivity. Construct validity was demonstrated, as the matrix distinguished between good, satisfactory and poor PDPs, and it had good internal consistency. Conclusion, PDP assessment has reasonable summative characteristics for the purpose of assessing GPs' reflective continuing professional development. If doctors could include their PDPs within their revalidation folders as evidence of their reflections on pursuing better clinical performance, we have described a reliable, valid and feasible method of external assessment. [source]


    The acceptability of 360-degree judgements as a method of assessing undergraduate medical students' personal and professional behaviours

    MEDICAL EDUCATION, Issue 1 2005
    Charlotte Rees
    Introduction, Medical students' personal and professional behaviours have been assessed poorly in medical schools. No research exists exploring the acceptability of 360-degree judgements as a method of assessing such behaviours. This study aims to explore students' and assessors' views and experiences of 360-degree judgements. Methods, Eighteen students and 12 assessors participated in 4 focus group discussions in spring 2003. Discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim and the transcripts were theme analysed independently by 2 analysts. Results, Although 360-degree judgements were felt to drive students' behaviour positively, they were also thought to influence learning and behaviour adversely. Various factors were thought to influence assessors' abilities to make good quality judgements, such as situational factors like the length of time spent with students, characteristics relating to the assessment criteria and characteristics of the assessor, such as apathy. Discussion, Additional research using qualitative and quantitative methods is needed to explore these issues further. [source]


    Procedures for establishing defensible programmes for assessing practice performance

    MEDICAL EDUCATION, Issue 10 2002
    Stephen R Lew
    Summary, The assessment of the performance of doctors in practice is becoming more widely accepted. While there are many potential purposes for such assessments, sometimes the consequences of the assessments will be ,high stakes'. In these circumstances, any of the many elements of the assessment programme may potentially be challenged. These assessment programmes therefore need to be robust, fair and defensible, taken from the perspectives of consumer, assessee and assessor. In order to inform the design of defensible programmes for assessing practice performance, a group of education researchers at the 10th Cambridge Conference adopted a project management approach to designing practice performance assessment programmes. This paper describes issues to consider in the articulation of the purposes and outcomes of the assessment, planning the programme, the administrative processes involved, including communication and preparation of assessees. Examples of key questions to be answered are provided, but further work is needed to test validity. [source]


    The assessment of poorly performing doctors: the development of the assessment programmes for the General Medical Council's Performance Procedures

    MEDICAL EDUCATION, Issue 2001
    Lesley Southgate
    Background Modernization of medical regulation has included the introduction of the Professional Performance Procedures by the UK General Medical Council in 1995. The Council now has the power to assess any registered practitioner whose performance may be seriously deficient, thus calling registration (licensure) into question. Problems arising from ill health or conduct are dealt with under separate programmes. Methods This paper describes the development of the assessment programmes within the overall policy framework determined by the Council. Peer review of performance in the workplace (Phase 1) is followed by tests of competence (Phase 2) to reflect the relationship between clinical competence and performance. The theoretical and research basis for the approach are presented, and the relationship between the qualitative methods in Phase 1 and the quantitative methods in Phase 2 explored. Conclusions The approach is feasible, has been implemented and has stood legal challenge. The assessors judge and report all the evidence they collect and may not select from it. All their judgements are included and the voice of the lay assessor is preserved. Taken together, the output from both phases forms an important basis for remediation and training should it be required. [source]


    Probability of acceptable intubation conditions with low dose rocuronium during light sevoflurane anaesthesia in children

    ACTA ANAESTHESIOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA, Issue 8 2001
    M. Eikermann
    Background: To define the rocuronium doses which would provide 50%, 90%, and 95% probability of ,acceptable' intubation conditions during light sevoflurane anaesthesia, we studied 60 children aged 2,7 years in a prospective, randomised, assessor blinded study. Methods: After mask ventilation with 1 MAC sevoflurane/N2O for 17±1 (x̌±SD) min we administered rocuronium (either 0.15, 0.22, 0.3, 0.5, or 1.0 mg ,· ,kg,1) or placebo, and quantified the evoked force of the adductor pollicis muscle. Intubation conditions were assessed before and 2 min after injection of the test drug. Results: Intubation conditions were improved significantly with rocuronium and scored ,acceptable' in 70%, 90%, and 100% of the children after injection of rocuronium 0.15, 0.22, and 0.3 mg ,· ,kg,1, respectively. In parallel, twitch tension decreased to 53% (6,100), 26% (11,100), and 11% (0,19) of baseline (median (range)). Recovery of train-of-four ratio to 0.8 was achieved 13 (7,19), 16 (8,28), and 27 (23,44) min after injection of the respective rocuronium doses. Higher rocuronium doses did not further improve intubation conditions but only prolonged time of neuromuscular recovery. Logistic regression analysis revealed that rocuronium 0.11 (CI 0.05,0.16), 0.21 (0.14,0.28), and 0.25 (0.15,0.34) mg ,· ,kg,1 provides a 50%, 90%, and 95% probability of ,acceptable' intubation conditions in children during 1 MAC sevoflurane/N2O anaesthesia, respectively. Furthermore, we calculated that force depression of adductor pollicis muscle to 81% (CI 72,90), 58% (42,74), and 50% (29,71) of baseline is associated with 50%, 90%, and 95% probability of ,acceptable' intubation conditions. Conclusions: Submaximal depression of muscle force with low dose rocuronium improves intubation conditions in children during light sevoflurane anaesthesia while allowing rapid recovery of neuromuscular function. However, when using low dose rocuronium neuromuscular monitoring may be helpful to detect children with inadequate response to the relaxant so as to avoid an unsuccessful intubation attempt. [source]