Author(s): Essendrop M, Maul I, Lubli T, Riihimki H, Schibye B
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study was to make a systematic literature review with preset quality criteria concerning reproducibility of the tests of the low back regarding strength, endurance and range of motion. DESIGN: Literature in Medline and local databases was reviewed for articles concerning the reproducibility of strength, endurance, and range of motion measurements. BACKGROUND: Measures of low back function are widely used, and are important for both clinical and research purposes in relation to low back problems. A review of the reproducibility of these tests has not previously been made. METHODS: After extensive discussion among all the authors, general evaluation parameters were defined for the quality assessment. Every study was graded from 0 to 2 for each parameter. Parameters evaluated were: number of subjects, subject description, method description, test/retest interval, description of results, and statistics. RESULTS: The literature search revealed a total of 79 studies. Most studies suffered from methodological weaknesses and only eleven studies received ten or more quality points (maximum 14). The results from the highest graded studies are highlighted. CONCLUSIONS: It may be concluded that there is a considerable lack of information about the reproducibility of functional measures for the low back, and therefore a recommendation for consensus is difficult. However, most tests performed in the sagittal plane are reliable for use on groups. RELEVANCE: Measures of low back function are thought to be of great importance for clinicians, and low back researchers in general. A review of reproducibility will be helpful both as a survey of tests, and to provide information on the usefulness in relation to the level of reproducibility.
This article was published in Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon)
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies