• Reliability of Low-Cost Thermometers for Monitoring Foot Temperature

      Doolittle, Kristen M.; Wendland, Deborah M. (2021)
      Diabetes prevalence is high and often burdens the economically disadvantaged. With the risk for foot complications in those with diabetes, foot temperature monitoring can help lessen ulcer risk. Higher cost thermometers have been validated. Validation of lower cost thermometers could improve access for the underserved. Purpose: To assess device repeatability, reliability, and ease of use. Methods: 3 inexpensive infrared thermometers were compared against a reference thermometer for repeatability. Rater reliability was assessed by 2 raters using 3 trials at 3 sites across 25 subjects. Feasibility was assessed by subjects ranking the thermometers after testing them. Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics were used for device repeatability. Intra-class correlation coefficient was used to assess rater reliability. Results: Device repeatability: single day coefficients of variation (CV) ranged from 0.20%-0.91%; all days CVs ranged from 3.32%-4.69%. Rater reliability: 25 subjects (49.6�15.8 years). Intra-rater ICC was >0.99 for researchers and thermometers. Inter-rater ICC was 0.965 - 0.975. Thermometers were ranked based on comfort, handling, size, and the light presence. Discussion: Reliability and repeatability of thermometers were good and measurements correlated strongly with the reference. The subjects had little difficulty using the devices. Conclusions: Inexpensive, commercially available infrared thermometers can be a reliable/valid way to assess local skin temperature.