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Are Infrared and Thermistor Thermometers Interchangeable for Measuring Localized Skin Temperature?

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Localized skin temperature must be measured by accurate and reliable thermometers to effectively evaluate treatment outcomes, monitor changes, and predict potential complications. This study compared localized skin temperature measurements with a contact thermistor thermometer used as a reference standard and a noncontact infrared (IR) skin thermometer to determine their interchangeability with calculated Bland-Altman limits of agreement. Fifty-five adults ages 50 to 89 participated in the study in which data were collected in a climate-controlled room over 3 measurement periods, 1 week apart. The thermistor and IR thermometers were interchangeable with a limit of agreement of ± 1.5°C. This limit of agreement is acceptable as a reference standard for IR thermometers to measure localized skin temperature in clinical settings.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2006

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