Validity of the Use of Wrist and Forehead Temperatures in Screening the General Population for COVID-19: A Prospective Real-World Study

  • Ge CHEN Department of Clinical Engineering, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Jiarong XIE Department of General Internal Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China AND Department of Gastroenterology, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Guangli DAI Department of Clinical Engineering, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Peijun ZHENG Department of Nursing, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Xiaqing HU Department of Emergency, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Hongpeng LU LU Department of General Internal Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China AND Department of Gastroenterology, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Lei XU Department of General Internal Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China AND Department of Gastroenterology, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Xueqin CHEN Department of Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Xiaomin CHEN Mail Department of General Internal Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China AND Department of Cardiology, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
Keywords:
COVID-19, Wrist temperature;, Noncontact infrared thermometer

Abstract

Background: We aimed to compare the accuracy of individuals’ wrist and forehead temperatures with their tympanic temperature under different circumstances.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study in a real-life population in Ningbo First Hospital in China. We consecutively recorded individuals’ wrist and forehead temperatures in Celsius (°C) using a noncontact infrared thermometer (NCIT). We also measured individuals’ tympanic temperature using a tympanic thermometer (IRTT) and defined fever as a tympanic temperature of ≥37.3 °C.

Results: We enrolled 528 participants, including 261 indoor and 267 outdoor participants. We grouped the outdoor participants into four groups according to their means of transportation to the hospital: by foot, by bicycle/electric vehicle, by car, or as a passenger in a car. Under different circumstances, the mean difference in the forehead measurement ranged from -1.72 to -0.56 °C across groups, and that in the wrist measurement ranged from -0.96 to -0.61°C. Both measurements had high fever screening abilities in indoor patients. (Wrist: AUC 0.790; 95% CI: 0.725-0.854, P<0.001; forehead: AUC 0.816; 95% CI: 0.757-0.876, P <0.001). The cut-off value of the wrist measurement for detecting a tympanic temperature of ≥37.3 °C was 36.2 °C, with 86.4% sensitivity and 67.0% specificity, and the best threshold for the forehead measurement was 36.2 °C, with 93.2% sensitivity and 60.0% specificity.

Conclusion: Wrist measurements are more stable than forehead measurements under different circumstances. Both measurements have favorable fever screening abilities in indoor patients. The cut-off values were both 36.2 °C.

 

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Published
2020-04-28
How to Cite
1.
CHEN G, XIE J, DAI G, ZHENG P, HU X, LU HL, XU L, CHEN X, CHEN X. Validity of the Use of Wrist and Forehead Temperatures in Screening the General Population for COVID-19: A Prospective Real-World Study. Iran J Public Health. 49(Supple 1):57-66.
Section
Original Article(s)