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A simple method for estimating a regression model for  between a pair of raters

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Agreement studies commonly occur in medical research, for example, in the review of X-rays by radiologists, blood tests by a panel of pathologists and the evaluation of psychopathology by a panel of raters. In these studies, often two observers rate the same subject for some characteristic with a discrete number of levels. The -coefficient is a popular measure of agreement between the two raters. The -coefficient may depend on covariates, i.e. characteristics of the raters and/or the subjects being rated. Our research was motivated by two agreement problems. The first is a study of agreement between a pastor and a co-ordinator of Christian education on whether they feel that the congregation puts enough emphasis on encouraging members to work for social justice (yes versus no). We wish to model the -coefficient as a function of covariates such as political orientation (liberal versus conservative) of the pastor and co-ordinator. The second example is a spousal education study, in which we wish to model the -coefficient as a function of covariates such as the highest degree of the father of the wife and the father of the husband. We propose a simple method to estimate the regression model for the -coefficient, which consists of two logistic (or multinomial logistic) regressions and one linear regression for binary data. The estimates can be easily obtained in any generalized linear model software program.

Keywords: Generalized estimating equations; Generalized linear model; Measure of agreement

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA, 2: Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA, 3: Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Canada, 4: Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA, 5: University of Chicago, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2001


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