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Agreement in the Scoring of Dental Caries by Dentists and Anthropologists

ŠNEBERGER, J., PANKOWSKÁ, A. Agreement in the Scoring of Dental Caries by Dentists and Anthropologists. Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica Natural Science in Archaeology, 2014, roč. V, č. 1, s. 49-58. ISSN: 1804-848X
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Agreement in the Scoring of Dental Caries by Dentists and Anthropologists
Rok vydání: 2014
Autoři: Mgr. Jiří Šneberger , Mgr. Anna Pankowská
Abstrakt EN: Correct scoring of caries lesions is a fundamental step in the bioarchaeological investigation of past populations. The present and the extension of caries lesions inform us about past subsistence and diet, human behaviour, social inequality and overall health status through time. We asked ourselves how relevant an interpretation of a past society’s dependence on dental caries identification might be with an interest in demonstrating the quality of the primary data and the need for precise evaluation. We tested an assessment agreement of dental caries among observers from different subject fields. Two dentists and two anthropologists visually investigated 233 teeth and 3029 teeth surfaces from archaeological samples at the Plzeň “U Zvonu” cemetery dating to medieval and early modern times. We made use of Cohen kappa and Fleiss’ kappa to calculate the inter-observer and intra-observer agreement. The results indicate that the overall prevalence of dental caries in the tested assemblage ranged from 1% to 6%, depending on the observer. The inter-observer agreement decreased from an average of k=0.77 (identification of teeth) to k=0.40 (evaluation of the extent of caries lesion). Assessment in the caries extension decreased more rapidly having been caused by the in all probability increasing demands of individual observation. We recorded homogeneity in the assessment of each observer in the intra-observer agreement with the exception of Dentist 2. We did not record a dependence on the subject field of the observer. The most probable cause of low inter and high intra-observer agreement could be in the methodological process of each observer, precision in the application of the methodology and the responsibility of the individual observer.
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