Are photographic records reliable for orthodontic screening?

N. A. Mandall, D. Bearn, S. Chadwick, D. Hegarty, D. H. Lewis, C. R. Mattick, J. Sandler, M. Trenouth, K. D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the reliability of a panel of orthodontists for accepting new patient referrals based on clinical photographs. Sample: Eight orthodontists from Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Chester, and Derbyshire observed clinical photographs of 40 consecutive new patients attending the orthodontic department, Hope Hospital, Salford. Method: They recorded whether or not they would accept the patient, as a new patient referral, in their department. Each consultant was asked to take into account factors, such as oral hygiene, dental development, and severity of the malocclusion. Statistics: Kappa statistic for multiple-rater agreement and kappa statistic for intra-observer reliability were calculated. Results: Inter-observer panel agreement for accepting new patient referrals based on photographic information was low (multiple rater kappa score 0.37). Intra-examiner agreement was better (kappa range 0.34-0.90). Conclusion: Clinician agreement for screening and accepting orthodontic referrals based on clinical photographs is comparable to that previously reported for other clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-127
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Orthodontics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


  • Clinical photographs
  • Consultant reliability
  • Inappropriate referrals
  • New patient referrals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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