Background: Quantifying interobserver diagnostic agreement is necessary to evaluate skin cancer screening programs, but estimates of variability are incomplete. Objective: We sought to measure agreement between dermatologists for diagnosing actinic keratoses (AKs) and malignant skin lesions and to determine the way in which blinding examiners to patient history affects agreement. Methods: We varied the amount of historical information available to examiners in two consecutive patient series (n = 50) presenting to a Veterans Affairs Medical Center dermatology clinic. Two dermatologists examined each patient independently. Results: Assessing historical features increased the κ statistic for malignancy recognition from -0.04 to 0.76. κ Statistics for diagnosing single AKs were 0.17 and 0.15, respectively, and 0.62 and 0.55 for multiple AKs. Conclusion: Agreement was high for diagnosing malignant skin lesions when history was included in the evaluation. Agreement for multiple AKs was higher than for single AKs, although neither was influenced by inclusion of historical features.
ASJC Scopus subject areas