Using Multiple Agreement methods for Continuous Repeated Measures Data: A Tutorial for Practitioners

Richard Parker, Charlie Scott, Vanda Calhau Fernandes Inacio, Nathaniel Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of agreement examine the distance between readings made by different devices or observers measuring the same quantity. If the values generated by each device are close together most of the time then we conclude that the devices agree. Several different agreement methods have been described in the literature, in the linear mixed modelling framework, for use when there are time-matched repeated measurements within subjects.
We provide a tutorial to help guide practitioners when choosing among different methods of assessing agreement based on a linear mixed model assumption. We illustrate the use of five methods in a head-to-head comparison using real data from a study involving Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients and matched repeated respiratory rate observations. The methods used were the concordance correlation coefficient, limits of agreement, total deviation index, coverage probability, and coefficient of individual agreement.
The five methods generated similar conclusions about the agreement between devices in the COPD example; however, some methods emphasized different aspects of the between-device comparison, and the interpretation was clearer for some methods compared to others.
Five different methods used to assess agreement have been compared in the same setting to facilitate understanding and encourage the use of multiple agreement methods in practice. Although there are similarities between the methods, each method has its own strengths and weaknesses which are important for researchers to be aware of. We suggest that researchers consider using the coverage probability method alongside a graphical display of the raw data in method comparison studies. In the case of disagreement between devices, it is important to look beyond the overall summary agreement indices and consider the underlying causes. Summarising the data graphically and examining model parameters can both help with this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


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