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Interobserver Reliability and Intraobserver Reproducibility of the System of King et al. for the Classification of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis*
R. JAY CUMMINGS, M.D.†; ERIC A. LOVELESS, M.D.†; JOSEPH CAMPBELL, M.D.‡; STEPHEN SAMELSON, M.D.§; JOHN M. MAZUR, M.D.†, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
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Investigation performed at Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1998 Aug 01;80(8):1107-11
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Abstract

The classification of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with use of the system of King et al. has become widely accepted since its introduction. The purpose of the present study was to establish the interobserver reliability and intraobserver reproducibility of this classification system.The preoperative radiographs of sixty-three patients who were managed operatively for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were classified by five observers with the system of King et al. Interobserver reliability was assessed by comparison of the classification of the curves among the observers, and intraobserver reproducibility was evaluated by comparison of the classifications of each set of radiographs by each observer on two occasions three weeks apart.The median interobserver reliability kappa coefficient for the classification system of King et al. was 0.44 (range, 0.28 to 0.50), and the median intraobserver reproducibility kappa coefficient was 0.64 (range, 0.44 to 0.72).According to the definition of Landis and Koch, the classification system of King et al. is substantially reproducible but is only moderately reliable. However, according to the stricter definition of Svanholm et al., its reproducibility is only fair and its reliability is poor.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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