Interobserver reliability

Another issue is the interobserver reliability of behaviour ratings. For those standard ratings based on observation periods of more than a day, any one observer will only have been on duty for a proportion of the observation period (which may be 1 week). Therefore unless the observer, against whom reliability is being assessed, is on duty for exactly the same period, the periods of observation will not be coincident. Under these circumstances a double rating is not strictly a reliability check, but more a check of the stability of the behaviour. Patel et al.(6) discuss how the use of a simple checklist of the occurrence of key events can substantially improve the reliability of this type of scale.

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