Reliability and Validity of Electrothermometers and Associated Thermocouples

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Objective:

Examine thermocouple model uncertainty (reliability + validity).

Design:

First, a 3 × 3 repeated measures design with independent variables electrothermometers and thermocouple model. Second, a 1 × 3 repeated measures design with independent variable subprobe.

Intervention:

Three electrothermometers, 3 thermocouple models, a multi-sensor probe and a mercury thermometer measured a stable water bath.

Main Outcome Measures:

Temperature and absolute temperature differences between thermocouples and a mercury thermometer.

Results:

Thermocouple uncertainty was greater than manufactures’ claims. For all thermocouple models, validity and reliability were better in the Iso-Themex than the Datalogger, but there were no practical differences between models within an electrothermometers. Validity of multi-sensor probes and thermocouples within a probe were not different but were greater than manufacturers’ claims. Reliability of multiprobes and thermocouples within a probe were within manufacturers claims.

Conclusion:

Thermocouple models vary in reliability and validity. Scientists should test and report the uncertainty of their equipment rather than depending on manufactures’ claims.

Lisa Jutte is with the School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. E-mail: lsjutte@bsu.edu. Kenneth Knight and Blaine Long are with the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University.