Computing Kappa is a Piece of Cake

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Kappa is a useful measure of agreement between two raters. Say you have two radiologists looking at X-rays, rating them as normal or abnormal and you want to get a quantitative measure of how well they agree. Kappa is your go-to coefficient.

How do you compute it? Well, personally, I use SAS because this is the year 2015 and we have computers.

Let’s take this table, where 100 X rays were rated by two different raters as an example:

Rating by   Physician 1

————-Abnormal   |  Normal

Physician 2

Abnormal        40             20

Normal             10            30


So ….. the first physician rated 60 X-rays as Abnormal. Of those 60, the second physician rated 40 abnormal and 20 normal, and so on.
If you received the data as a SAS data set like this, with an abnormal rating = 1 and normal = 0, then life is easy and you can just do the PROC FREQ.


Rater1    Rater2

1                1
1                 1

and so for 50 lines.


However, I very often get not an actual data set but a table like the one above. In this case, it is  still relatively simple to code

DATA compk ;

INPUT rater1 rater2 nums ;


1 1 40
1 0 20
0 1 10
0 0 30


So, there were 40 x-rays coded as abnormal by both rater1 and rater2.  When rater1 = 1 (abnormal) and rater2 = 0 (normal), there were 20,  and so on.

The next part is easy

PROC FREQ DATA = compk ;

TABLES rater1*rater2/ AGREE ;

WEIGHT nums ;


That’s it.  The WEIGHT statement is necessary in this case because I did not have 100 individual records, I just had a table, so the WEIGHT variable gives the number in each category.

This will work fine for a 2 x 2 table. If you have a table that is more than 2 x 2, at the end, you can add the statement


This will give you the weighted Kappa coefficient. If you include this with a 2 x2 table nothing happens because the weighted kappa coefficient and the simple Kappa coefficient are the same in this case.

See, I told you it was simple.


local_offerevent_note February 8, 2015

account_box AnnMaria De Mars

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