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The accuracy of respiratory rate assessment by doctors in a London teaching hospital: a cross-sectional study

Philip, KE; Pack, E; Cambiano, V; Rollmann, H; Weil, S; O'Beirne, J; (2014) The accuracy of respiratory rate assessment by doctors in a London teaching hospital: a cross-sectional study. J Clin Monit Comput 10.1007/s10877-014-9621-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Respiratory rate (RR) is one of the most sensitive markers of a patient condition and a core aspect of multiple clinical assessment tools. Doctors use a number of methods to assess RR, including formal measurement, and 'spot' assessments, although this is not recommended. This study aimed to assess the accuracy of the methods of RR measurement being used by doctors. A cross-sectional study assessing the accuracy (range, bias, and imprecision) of doctors' 'spot' and 'formal' respiratory rate assessments, using videos of mock patients. 54 doctors in a London teaching hospital participated. Both methods showed high levels of inaccuracy, though formal methods were more accurate than 'spot' assessments. 52 and 19 % of doctors did not identify the respiratory rates shown as abnormal, using 'spot' and formal assessment methods respectively. We observed a trend towards decreasing accuracy of 'spot' assessments with increasing clinical experience (p = 0.0490). Current methods of RR assessment by doctors are inaccurate. This may be significantly delaying appropriate clinical care, or even misguiding treatment.

Type: Article
Title: The accuracy of respiratory rate assessment by doctors in a London teaching hospital: a cross-sectional study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10877-014-9621-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10877-014-9621-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1450315
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