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Crown-heel length (CHL) measurement is influenced by technique, training, experience and subject cooperation. We investigated whether extending one or both of an infant's legs affects the precision of CHL taken using an infantometer. The influence of staff training and infant cooperation were also examined.CHL was measured in children (aged 2), infants (aged 1) and newborns, by extending one or both legs. The subject's level of cooperation was recorded. Mean differences were compared using Student's t-test; intra- and inter-observer variability were assessed using Bland-Altman plots with 95 % limits of agreement. Intra- and inter-observer technical errors of measurement (TEMs) were also calculated.Measuring CHL in newborns using only one leg resulted in significantly longer measurements. Across all groups, there was less inter-observer variability using both legs; 95 % limits of agreement were lower and TEMs smaller. Larger measurement differences were seen if children were uncooperative.This study supports measuring CHL with both legs extended. The two-leg technique reduces variability and increases precision by allowing the measurer to control better the position and movements of the infant's body.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12887-016-0725-4

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC pediatrics

Publication Date

14/11/2016

Volume

16

Addresses

Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK. leila.cheikhismail@obs-gyn.ox.ac.uk.