Reliability of postoperative photographs in assessment of facial nerve function after vestibular schwannoma resection

Academic Article


  • Object: This study was undertaken to assess the reliability of observations of postoperative photographs in assigning House-Brackmann scores as outcome measures for patients following resection of vestibular schwannomas. Methods: Forty pictures of differing facial expressions typically elicited from patients for assigning House-Brackmann scores were individually evaluated by neurosurgery residents and faculty members at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; a score was assigned to each picture by the individual raters. The interrater reliability was measured using the Spearman correlation coefficient, Kendall coefficient of concordance, and kappa statistic; internal consistency was calculated using the Cronbach alpha reliability estimate. Results: The Spearman correlation coefficients showed strong positive association among raters, with a range of values of 0.66 to 0.90. Internal consistency measured by the Cronbach alpha coefficient was excellent (α = 0.97). The Kendall coefficient of concordance for the ordinal grades suggested a substantial degree of agreement among the raters (w = 0.76, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Static postoperative photographs are a reliable outcome measure for determining facial nerve function after vestibular schwannoma resection and may serve as a surrogate for the dynamic patient interview.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gordon AS; Westrick AC; Falola MI; Shannon CN; Walters BC; Fisher WS
  • Start Page

  • 860
  • End Page

  • 863
  • Volume

  • 117
  • Issue

  • 5