Clinical prediction models for diagnosis of COVID-19 among adult patients: a validation and agreement study

Nadia Dardenne, Médéa Locquet, Anh Nguyet Diep, Allison Gilbert, Sophie Delrez, Charlotte Beaudart, Christian Brabant, Alexandre Ghuysen, Anne Françoise Donneau, Olivier Bruyère

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Background: Since the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals have been constantly overcrowded, with several observed waves of infected cases and hospitalisations. To avoid as much as possible this situation, efficient tools to facilitate the diagnosis of COVID-19 are needed. Objective: To evaluate and compare prediction models to diagnose COVID-19 identified in a systematic review published recently using performance indicators such as discrimination and calibration measures. Methods: A total of 1618 adult patients present at two Emergency Department triage centers and for whom qRT-PCR tests had been performed were included in this study. Six previously published models were reconstructed and assessed using diagnostic tests as sensitivity (Se) and negative predictive value (NPV), discrimination (Area Under the Roc Curve (AUROC)) and calibration measures. Agreement was also measured between them using Kappa’s coefficient and IntraClass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). A sensitivity analysis has been conducted by waves of patients. Results: Among the 6 selected models, those based only on symptoms and/or risk exposure were found to be less efficient than those based on biological parameters and/or radiological examination with smallest AUROC values (< 0.80). However, all models showed good calibration and values above > 0.75 for Se and NPV but poor agreement (Kappa and ICC < 0.5) between them. The results of the first wave were similar to those of the second wave. Conclusion: Although quite acceptable and similar results were found between all models, the importance of radiological examination was also emphasized, making it difficult to find an appropriate triage system to classify patients at risk for COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number464
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Agreement
  • COVID-19
  • Patients’ triage
  • Prediction models
  • Validation study


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