Reproducibility of cervical range of motion in patients with neck pain

J.L. Hoving, J.J.M. Pool, H. van Mameren, W.L.J.M. Deville, W.J.J. Assendelft, H.C.W. de Vet, A.F. de Winter, B.W. Koes, L.M. Bouter, Walter J. L. M. Devillé

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Background: Reproducibility measurements of the range of motion are an important prerequisite for the interpretation of study results. The aim of the study is to assess the intra-rater and interrater reproducibility of the measurement of active Range of Motion (ROM) in patients with neck pain using the Cybex Electronic Digital Inclinometer-320 (EDI-320). Methods: In an outpatient clinic in a primary care setting 32 patients with at least 2 weeks of pain and/or stiffness in the neck were randomly assessed, in a test- retest design with blinded raters using a standardized measurement protocol. Cervical flexion-extension, lateral flexion and rotation were assessed. Results: Reliability expressed by the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) was 0.93 (lateral flexion) or higher for intra-rater reliability and 0.89 (lateral flexion) or higher for inter-rater reliability. The 95% limits of agreement for intra-rater agreement, expressing the range of the differences between two ratings were -2.5 ± 11.1° for flexion-extension, -0.1 ± 10.4° for lateral flexion and -5.9 ± 13.5° for rotation. For inter-rater agreement the limits of agreement were 3.3 ± 17.0° for flexion-extension, 0.5 ± 17.0° for lateral flexion and -1.3 ± 24.6° for rotation. Conclusion: In general, the intra-rater reproducibility and the inter-rater reproducibility were good. We recommend to compare the reproducibility and clinical applicability of the EDI-320 inclinometer with other cervical ROM measures in symptomatic patients. © 2005 Hoving et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number59
Pages (from-to)59
Number of pages8
JournalBMC musculoskeletal disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2005

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