Precision, accuracy, and reliability of hemoglobin assessment with use of capillary blood uri icon


  • Background: Previous research has suggested that there may be significant within-subject variability, both site-to-site and over time, in hemoglobin concentrations in capillary blood.
  • Conclusions: The simulation data showed that errors of the magnitude found due to unreliability can lead to misclassification of anemia status in individuals and small biases in anemia prevalence estimates. We recommend replicate sampling to reduce the influence of unreliability in the use of the PHM system with capillary blood.
  • Design: Three empirical data sets were used to measure reliability, precision, and accuracy of the PHM system [2 from Honduras (n = 87 and 141); 1 from Bangladesh (n = 73)]. Simulation data were used to assess the implications of errors for screening individuals for anemia and to estimate anemia prevalence.
  • Objective: This study examined the reliability of the portable hemoglobinometer (PHM) system with use of capillary blood and the implications of errors of the magnitude found for the classification of anemia status in individuals and population groups. The I,recision and accuracy of the method with use of venous blood were also tested.
  • Results: High within-subject variability (unreliability) was identified when capillary blood from the left hand was compared with that from the right hand (CV: 6.3%) and when measurements were taken on 4 consecutive days (CV: 7.0%). Reliability was only 69% and 50%, respectively. Precision and accuracy, however, were very high (concordance coefficients of 0.99 and 0.98 and CV < 1%).

publication date

  • 1999
  • 1999