Lagan KM, Dusoir AE, McDonough SM, Baxter GD. Wound measurement: The comparative reliability of direct versus photographic tracings analyzed by planimetry versus digitizing techniques. Objective: To investigate two methods of wound measurement (planimetry and digitizing) performed on two routinely used techniques of clinical wound assessment, tracings taken directly from a patient's wound (raw tracing) and from photographs of the wound (photographic tracing). Design: We examined the level of repeatability and thus reliability of these methods, and determined if absolute measured wound size differed between the combinations of method and assessment procedures. Patients: Seven patients (4 women, 3 men; mean age ± standard error of the mean = 63.1 ± 5.0 yrs) with a total of 11 wounds. Setting: Patients attended a podiatry outpatient department on two separate days for raw and photographic tracing of their wounds. For both of these trace types, a series of repeated recordings were conducted by a single investigator using planimetry and digitizing measurement methods. Main Outcome Measure: Independent statistical analyses (analysis of variance, p < .05) were conducted on logged coefficients of variation and logged means data to investigate for repeatability and for size differences, respectively. Results: Planimetry produced a significantly larger degree of variability (thus less repeatability) than digitizing (p = .02) and also produced smaller readings (p = .00001). Averaging over methods also indicated that photographic tracings produced smaller readings than raw tracings (p = .019). Conclusion: For the wound sizes and shapes examined, tracings taken directly from the patients were found to be an inexpensive clinical and research assessment tool on which digitizing was conducted with a higher level of repeatability than planimetry. Further research is needed to determine if the current findings apply to a wider population within wound management clinics. (C) 2000 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by a Vice-Chancellor Scholarship from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.