Quality of interpretative commenting on common clinical chemistry results in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa

Samuel Vasikaran, L.C. Lai, S. Sethi, J.B. Lopez, K.A. Sikaris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Interpretative commenting is an important activity of the clinical diagnostic laboratory. We describe a study of interpretative commenting abilities among senior laboratory professionals in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa.Methods: Five sets of laboratory results reflecting common and important problems encountered in clinical chemistry were distributed at 4-weekly intervals to 31 registered participants from countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Participants were asked to attach an interpretative comment to the results assuming that the requesting doctor had asked for an interpretation of the result.Results: Twelve pathologists and 19 scientists from seven countries registered to participate and the overall reply rate was 50% for the five cases. The quality of the comments returned by participants was diverse and some reflected incorrect or misleading interpretation and advice.Conclusions: While interpretative commenting is an important laboratory activity, the results of this study suggest that there is room for improvement in the quality of interpretative comments offered by senior laboratory professionals, even for commonly reported results relating to most prevalent and important public health conditions. Interpretative commenting should be formally taught during training of pathologists and scientists, and continuing professional development in this area is required for the provision of a quality interpretative service.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)963-970
    JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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