A Visual Scale for Improving Communication When Describing Gross Hematuria

Thomas E Stout, Michael Borofsky, Ayman Soubra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To create and validate a grading scale that facilitates communication between providers managing gross hematuria (GH).

METHODS: A blood simulant was used to create a spectrum of GH in 5 foley catheter tubes which were shown to a group of experienced urologists. The urologists were asked how they would adjust the continuous bladder irrigation rate if the samples represented the urine of hypothetical patients, and a 5-point scale was created by group consensus with pictures of the representative tubes printed onto a visual aid. Another cohort were then shown the 5 tubes at random and asked to describe the GH. Raters were then shown the visual aid and asked to assign a grade to the same samples. Fleiss' kappa analysis was used to measure inter-rater agreement, and therefore fidelity of the scale.

RESULTS: Fourteen urologists were surveyed to determine the samples used to create the 5-point scale. After the scale was created, 43 raters (22 nurses, 16 urologists, and 5 advanced practice providers) attempted match the tubes to their corresponding images on the printout. When asked to describe the degree of GH for the samples as they would in clinical practice, 28 different descriptors were used (mean 8.6 per sample). When using the 5-point GH scale, however, raters exhibited near perfect agreement in matching each sample to its corresponding severity on the scale (κ = 0.93, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: We created a clinically useful GH scale that improves communication and reduces ambiguous language among providers of varying levels of experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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