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Scoring systems are of immense importance throughout every facet of medicine. These scores allow us to obtain some objective measure of an otherwise subjective phenomenon such as faecal incontinence,1 constipation2 and Crohn’s disease.3 4 In addition to scoring and staging systems allowing us to categorise and stratify the severity of a condition, they also allow us to monitor the efficacy of treatment or lack thereof.5 Some use objective data to predict scores, such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists score and the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program risk calculators.6 For many years, we have relied on the tumour, node, metastasis (TNM) classification of cancer to allow us to appropriately evaluate and manage the entire myriad of malignancies.
The common denominators for the successful routine use of any scoring system include its ease of use, reliability and reproducibility. In order for scoring systems to fulfil these criteria, they generally must be used in a variety of settings where efficacy, reliability and reproducibility can be successfully consistently proven. Furthermore, because of differences in language throughout the world, the more successful systems have been translated into many other …
Contributors SDW has written and edited the final draft of this invited commentary.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.