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Original article

Vol. 144 No. 5152 (2014)

SwissScoring – a nationwide survey of SAPS II assessing practices and its accuracy

  • Marco Previsdomini
  • Bernard Cerutti
  • Paolo Merlani
  • Mark Kaufmann
  • Elisabeth van Gessel
  • Hans Ulrich Rothen
  • Andreas Perren
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2014;144:w14090


OBJECTIVE: The first description of the simplified acute physiology score (SAPS) II dates back to 1993, but little is known about its accuracy in daily practice. Our purpose was to evaluate the accuracy of scoring and the factors that affect it in a nationwide survey.

METHODS: Twenty clinical scenarios, covering a broad range of illness severities, were randomly assigned to a convenience sample of physicians or nurses in Swiss adult intensive care units (ICUs), who were asked to assess the SAPS II score for a single scenario. These data were compared to a reference that was defined by five experienced researchers. The results were cross-matched with demographic characteristics and data on the training and quality control for the scoring, structural and organisational properties of each participating ICU.

RESULTS: A total of 345 caregivers from 53 adult ICU providers completed the SAPS II evaluation of one clinical scenario. The mean SAPS II scoring was 42.6 ± 23.4, with a bias of +5.74 (95%CI 2.0–9.5) compared to the reference score. There was no evidence of bias variation according to the case severity, ICU size, linguistic area, profession (physician vs. nurse), experience, initial SAPS II training, or presence of a quality control system.

CONCLUSION:This nationwide survey revealed substantial variability in the SAPS II scoring results. On average, SAPS II scoring was overestimated by more than 13%, irrespective of the profession or experience of the scorer or of the structural characteristics of the ICUs.


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