Evaluation of a modified Karnofsky score to assess physical and psychological wellbeing of cats in a hospital setting

Taffin, Elien RL; Paepe, Dominique; Campos, Miguel; Duchateau, Luc; Goris, Nesya; De Roover, Katrien; Daminet, Sylvie (2016). Evaluation of a modified Karnofsky score to assess physical and psychological wellbeing of cats in a hospital setting. Journal of feline medicine and surgery, 18(11), pp. 913-920. Sage 10.1177/1098612X15610620

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Objectives The Karnofsky score (KS) modified for cats, a scoring system to rate health and quality of life (QOL) in cats, is used in clinical trials, but its reliability and validity are yet to be determined. The present study aims to evaluate the scientific robustness of the KS when adapted for use in a hospital setting. Methods A list of variables to consider during the physical examination, which informs the clinician's score (CS) part of the KS, was added and clinicians were allowed to choose a score anywhere between 0 and 50. The Karnofsky QOL questionnaire was adapted for use in a hospital setting. F-tests with Bonferroni correction and Spearman rank correlation coefficients were used to evaluate reliability and validity of the KS to assess the health and wellbeing of cats in a hospital setting. The records of 54 feline immunodeficiency virus-positive cats, which were recruited for a clinical trial and hospitalised for 6 weeks, were reviewed. Four veterinarians scored the CS, and one veterinarian and a veterinary nurse assessed the QOL score. Results Mean absolute difference between observers was significantly larger for the CS than for the QOL score ( P <0.001) and two veterinarians scored significantly higher than the remaining two veterinarians ( P <0.001). Inter-observer correlation ranged from 0.45-0.75 for the CS. For the QOL score, the absolute difference between observers was small, no significant difference was found between observers and a high degree of inter-observer correlation was noted (r = 0.91). Conclusions and relevance The results indicate low inter-observer reliability for the CS, requiring additional modifications to this part of the KS. The QOL score seems more reliable, and the questionnaire may serve as a reliable tool in the assessment of QOL in cats in a hospital setting. Consequently, further adaptation of the KS is mandatory when simultaneous assessment of both the cat's clinical health and perceived wellbeing is required.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic > Small Animal Clinic, Internal Medicine
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Campos, Miguel

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

1098-612X

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Miguel Fonseca e Campos

Date Deposited:

18 Jan 2021 10:16

Last Modified:

18 Jan 2021 10:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/1098612X15610620

PubMed ID:

26474595

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/150753

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/150753

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