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Open Access Research article

Clinimetric quality of the fire fighting simulation test as part of the Dutch fire fighters Workers' Health Surveillance

Marie-Christine J Plat*, Monique HW Frings-Dresen and Judith K Sluiter

Author Affiliations

Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:32  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-32

Published: 4 February 2010

Abstract

Background

Clinimetric data for the fire fighting simulation test (FFST), a new test proposed for the Workers' Health Surveillance (WHS) of Dutch fire fighters, were evaluated.

Methods

Twenty-one fire fighters took the FFST three times with one and three weeks between testing. Clinimetric quality was determined by means of reliability, agreement and validity. For reliability and agreement, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and standard error of measurement (SEM), were analysed. For construct validity, the tests from 45 fire fighters were correlated with their own and their supervisors' rated work ability.

Results

The ICCs were 0.56 and 0.79 at the one-week and three-week test-retest periods, respectively. Testing times ranged from 9 to 17 minutes; the SEMs were 70 s at the one-week and 40 s at the three-week test-retest periods. The construct validity was moderate (-0.47 ≤ r ≤ -0.33; p < 0.05).

Conclusions

The FFST was reliable with acceptable agreement after three weeks. Construct validity was moderate. We recommend using FFST as a part of the WHS for Dutch fire fighters. It is advised that fire fighters should perform the FFST once as a trial before judging their performance in testing time during the second performance.