Inter-rater reliability of three standardized functional tests in patients with low back pain.

Tidstrand J, Horneij E

The aim of this present study was to standardize and examine the inter-rater reliability of three functional tests of muscular functional coordination of the lumbar spine in patients with low back pain. Two independent examiners assessed three tests: "single limb stance", "sitting on a Bobath ball with one leg lifted" and "unilateral pelvic lift" on the same occasion in 19 individuals. The standardization procedure took altered positions of the spine or pelvis and compensatory movements of the free extremities into account. The inter-rater reliability for the right and the left leg respectively was: for the single limb stance very good, for sitting on a Bobath ball good and very good and for the unilateral pelvic lift: good and moderate.

The present study showed good to very good inter-rater reliability for two standardized tests, that is, the single-limb stance and sitting on a Bobath-ball with one leg lifted. Inter-rater reliability for the unilateral pelvic lift test was moderate to good. Validation of the tests in their ability to evaluate lumbar stability is required.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009;10:58

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