Validity and reliability of temperature measurement by heat flow thermistors, flexible thermocouple probes and thermistors in a stirred water bath

Nathan Versey, Christopher Gore, Shona Halson, J Plowman, B Dawson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We determined the validity and reliability of heat flow thermistors, flexible thermocouple probes and general purpose thermistors compared with a calibrated reference thermometer in a stirred water bath. Validity (bias) was defined as the difference between the observed and criterion values, and reliability as the repeatability (standard deviation or typical error) of measurement. Data were logged every 5 s for 10 min at water temperatures of 14, 26 and 38 °C for ten heat flow thermistors and 24 general purpose thermistors, and at 35, 38 and 41 °C for eight flexible thermocouple probes. Statistical analyses were conducted using spreadsheets for validity and reliability, where an acceptable bias was set at 0.1 °C. None of the heat flow thermistors, 17% of the flexible thermocouple probes and 71% of the general purpose thermistors met the validity criterion for temperature. The inter-probe reliabilities were 0.03 °C for heat flow thermistors, 0.04 °C for flexible thermocouple probes and 0.09 °C for general purpose thermistors. The within trial intra-probe reliability of all three temperature probes was 0.01 °C. The results suggest that these temperature sensors should be calibrated individually before use at relevant temperatures and the raw data corrected using individual linear regression equations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number005
    Pages (from-to)1417-1424
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysiological Measurement
    Volume32
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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