Reliability of scar assessments performed with an integrated skin testing device - The DermaLab Combo®

Uliya Gankande, Janine Duke, Patricia Danielsen, Helen Dejong, Fiona Wood, Hilary Wallace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved. Background: The DermaLab Combo1 is a device with potential to make objective measurements of key scar components - pigmentation, vascularity, pliability and thickness. This study assessed the inter-rater and test-retest reliability of these measurements. Method: Three raters performed scar assessments on thirty patients with burn scars using the DermaLab Combo®. Measurements of pigmentation, vascularity, pliability and thickness were made and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) were derived for inter-rater and test-retest reliability. Results: Inter-rater reliability was found to be "excellent" in the 'best' and 'worst' areas of the index scar and normal skin for pigmentation (ICC: 0.94-0.98) and thickness (ICC: 0.86-0.96). Test-retest reliability was also "excellent" for pigmentation (ICC: 0.87-0.89) and thickness (ICC: 0.92-0.97) in all areas. Vascularity showed "good" to "excellent" inter-rater reliability (ICC: 0.66-0.84) in all areas however test-retest reliability was "low" (ICC: 0.29-0.42). Test-retest reliability was "excellent" for pliability (ICC: 0.76-0.91). Technical limitations were encountered making measurements in some scars for thickness, and in particular, pliability. Conclusion: The DermaLab Combo® measured pigmentation, thickness and pliability with "excellent" reliability. If future studies provide protocols to improve test-retest reliability of vascularity measurements and obtain pliability measurements more successfully, the DermaLab Combo1 will be valuable device for scar assessment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1521-1529
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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