Inter-Rater and Intra-Rater Reliability of the INSPECT (Interactive Nutrition Specific Physical Exam Competency Tool) Measured in Multi-Site Acute Care Settings

Sunitha Zechariah, Jennifer L. Waller, Judith Stallings, Ashley J. Gess, Leigh Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Even as new medical modalities, diagnostics, and technologies are rapidly changing healthcare, providing patients with safe, high-quality care remains the central focus. To provide safe patient care, healthcare providers are obligated to demonstrate and maintain the necessary competence. As more healthcare disciplines move toward a competency-based education model, it is essential to extend the competence verification from the academic educational level to the patient’s bedside. The nutrition-focused physical exam (NFPE) is a competency recently adopted by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) for assessing patients’ nutritional status. Being a newly acquired skill, validated tools are required to measure NFPE competence during routine clinical practice. The Interactive Nutrition Specific Physical Exam Competency Tool (INSPECT) is a new tool developed specifically to observe and measure RDNs’ NFPE competence in clinical settings. The INSPECT was designed and validated for content using expert RDNs’ input in the first and second phases of the study. This current study aimed to assess the reliability of the INSPECT through multi-site observations by clinical supervisors evaluating RDNs’ NFPE competency during patient assessment. The INSPECT exhibited good inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.78 for the first assessment and ICC = 0.68 for the second assessment), moderate to strong intra-rater reliability for 37 of 41 items (Spearman rho = 0.54 to 1.0), and excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.86 for the first assessment and α = 0.92 for the second assessment). In total, 10 out of the 11 INSPECT subsets showed good to excellent internal consistency (α ranging from 0.70 to 0.98). The results demonstrate that the INSPECT is a reliable tool, is stable over time, and has good agreement and excellent consistency between raters. The INSPECT can be a valuable tool to measure, promote and maintain RDNs’ NFPE competence in authentic acute care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number212
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Competency
  • Inter-rater reliability
  • Internal consistency
  • Intra-rater reliability
  • Nutrition-focused physical exam
  • Registered dietitian nutritionists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Inter-Rater and Intra-Rater Reliability of the INSPECT (Interactive Nutrition Specific Physical Exam Competency Tool) Measured in Multi-Site Acute Care Settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this