Effect of merging levels of locomotion scores for dairy cows on intra- and interrater reliability and agreement

Journal of Dairy Science
A Schlageter-TelloKees Lokhorst


Locomotion scores are used for lameness detection in dairy cows. In research, locomotion scores with 5 levels are used most often. Analysis of scores, however, is done after transformation of the original 5-level scale into a 4-, 3-, or 2-level scale to improve reliability and agreement. The objective of this study was to evaluate different ways of merging levels to optimize resolution, reliability, and agreement of locomotion scores for dairy cows. Locomotion scoring was done by using a 5-level scale and 10 experienced raters in 2 different scoring sessions from videos from 58 cows. Intra- and interrater reliability and agreement were calculated as weighted kappa coefficient (κw) and percentage of agreement (PA), respectively. Overall intra- and interrater reliability and agreement and specific intra- and interrater agreement were determined for the 5-level scale and after transformation into 4-, 3-, and 2-level scales by merging different combinations of adjacent levels. Intrarater reliability (κw) ranged from 0.63 to 0.86, whereas intrarater agreement (PA) ranged from 60.3 to 82.8% for the 5-level scale. Interrater κw=0.28 to 0.84 and interrater PA=22.6 to 81.8% for the 5-level scale. The specific intrarater agreement was 76...Continue Reading


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