Reliability of peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) assessment tools


#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Ahlqvist, M., Berglund, B., Nordström, G., Klang, B. and Johansson, E. (2013) Satisfactory reliability among nursing students using the instrument PVC ASSESS to evaluate management of peripheral venous catheters. The Journal of Vascular Access. October 23rd. .


Purpose: Nursing students should be given opportunities to participate in clinical audits during their education. However, audit tools are seldom tested for reliability among nursing students. The aim of this study was to present reliability among nursing students using the instrument PVC assess to assess management of peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) and PVC-related signs of thrombophlebitis.

Methods: PVC assess was used to assess 67 inserted PVCs in 60 patients at ten wards at a university hospital. One group of nursing students (n=4) assessed PVCs at the bedside (inter-rater reliability) and photographs of these PVCs were taken. Another group of students (n=3) assessed the PVCs in the photographs after 4 weeks (test–retest reliability). To determine reliability, proportion of agreement [P(A)] and Cohen’s kappa coefficient (κ) were calculated.

Results: For bedside assessment of PVCs, P(A) ranged from good to excellent (0.80-1.0) in 55% of the 26 PVC assess items that were tested. P(A) was poor (<0.70) for two items: “adherence of inner dressing to the skin” and “PVC location.” In 81% of the items, κ was between moderate and almost perfect: moderate (n=5), substantial (n=3), almost perfect (n=5). For edema at insertion site and two items on PVC dressing, κ was fair (0.21-0.40). Regarding test–retest reliability, P(A) varied between good and excellent (0.81-1) in 85%-95% of the items, and the κ ranged between moderate and almost perfect (0.41-1) in 90%-95%.

Conclusions: PVC assess demonstrated satisfactory reliability among nursing students. However, students need training in how to use the instrument before assessing PVCs.

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