Background: To improve the consistency of standardized Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) assessments, an electronic data capture tool and analysis tool was developed, Neurostatus e-Scoring (NESC). This tool allows real-time feedback by comparing entries with established scoring rules. Objective: To test whether using NESC reduces inconsistencies as compared to the paper-and-pencil version of the Expanded Disability Status Scale (pEDSS). Methods: In all, 100 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were assessed in random order on the same day by pairs of neurologists, one using pEDSS and one NESC. We compared inter-rater reliability and frequency of inconsistencies in Neurostatus subscores, functional system (FS) scores, ambulation and EDSS steps. Results: Inconsistencies of any type were more likely to occur when using pEDSS (mean odds ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 2.93 (1.62; 5.29)). This was also the case for FS score inconsistencies (2.54 (1.40; 4.61)) and more likely for patients in the lower EDSS range (≤3.5 vs >3.5) (5.32 (1.19; 23.77)). Overall, inter-rater agreement for the assessed Neurostatus subscores was high (median and inter-quartile range = 0.84 (0.73, 0.81)). Conclusion: Our data provide class II evidence that the use of NESC increases consistency of standardized EDSS assessments, and may thus have the potential to decrease noise and increase power of MS clinical trials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology