Limitations of the data collected for scoring systems

The data collected in studies applying scoring systems can vary in terms of their validity, reliability, and completeness. However, such information is rarely reported in the literature.

Validity and reliability

Poor validity and reliability of data can arise from the lack of objective rules and definitions for data collection for the scoring systems. In addition, it is easier to define and measure age rather than to define and measure the primary reason for admission to intensive care in a valid and reliable way. A lack of objective rules and definitions may lead to the same patients being categorized in different ways in different ICUs.


Given that the level of missing data for scoring systems can vary between different ICUs and based on the assumption that missing data are assigned as 'normal' in most scoring systems, incomplete data may reduce the accuracy of scoring systems. It is rare that the level and variation of missing data across ICUs are reported when results of studies employing scoring systems are published.

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