Submitted by: sdemir   Date: 2016-05-13 08:43
Understanding Bland Altman analysis
Davide Giavarina

Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2015 Jun; 25(2): 141–151.

In a contemporary clinical laboratory it is very common to have to assess the agreement between two quantitative methods of measurement. The correct statistical approach to assess this degree of agreement is not obvious. Correlation and regression studies are frequently proposed. However, correlation studies the relationship between one variable and another, not the differences, and it is not recommended as a method for assessing the comparability between methods.
In 1983 Altman and Bland (B&A) proposed an alternative analysis, based on the quantification of the agreement between two quantitative measurements by studying the mean difference and constructing limits of agreement.
The B&A plot analysis is a simple way to evaluate a bias between the mean differences, and to estimate an agreement interval, within which 95% of the differences of the second method, compared to the first one, fall. Data can be analyzed both as unit differences plot and as percentage differences plot.
The B&A plot method only defines the intervals of agreements, it does not say whether those limits are acceptable or not. Acceptable limits must be defined a priori, based on clinical necessity, biological considerations or other goals.
The aim of this article is to provide guidance on the use and interpretation of Bland Altman analysis in method comparison studies.

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