The National Health and Morbidity Survey III 2006 wanted to perform anthropometric measurements (length and weight) for children in their survey. However there is limited literature on the reliability, technical error of measurement (TEM) and validity of these two measurements. This study assessed the above properties of length (LT) and weight (WT) measurements in 130 children age below two years, from the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) paediatric outpatient clinics, during the period of December 2005 to January 2006. Two trained nurses measured WT using Tanita digital infant scale model 1583, Japan (0.01kg) and Seca beam scale, Germany (0.01 kg) and LT using Seca measuring mat, Germany (0.1cm) and Sensormedics stadiometer model 2130 (0.1cm). Findings showed high inter and intra-examiner reliability using 'change in the mean' and 'intraclass correlation' (ICC) for WT and LT. However, LT was found to be less reliable using the 'Bland and Altman plot'. This was also true using Relative TEMs, where the TEM value of LT was slightly more than the acceptable limit. The test instruments were highly valid for WT using 'change in the mean' and 'ICC' but was less valid for LT measurement. In spite of this we concluded that, WT and LT measurements in children below two years old using the test instruments were reliable and valid for a community survey such as NHMS III within the limits of their error. We recommend that LT measurements be given special attention to improve its reliability and validity.
Study site: Paediatric clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.