Open Access Open Badges Research article

Evaluation of self-administered tests for pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy

Monika Fagevik Olsén12*, Helen Elden3 and Annelie Gutke2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg SE 413 45, Sweden

2 Department of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:138  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-138

Published: 27 April 2014



Different tests are used in order to classify women with pelvic girdle pain (PGP). One limitation of the tests is that they need to be performed by an examiner. Self-administered tests have previously been described and evaluated by women who performed the tests directly before the examiner performed the original tests. Thus, an evaluation of the self-administered tests performed in a more natural setting, such as the women’s home is needed.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the agreement between self-administered tests performed at home and tests performed by an examiner on women with suspected PGP. Additionally to compare the classification made by an examiner and classification based on results of the self-administered tests and questionnaire.


One hundred and twenty three pregnant women with suspected PGP participated. Before the appointment at the clinic the women performed the self-administered tests and filled in a questionnaire. During the appointment one specialized physiotherapist performed the tests. Result of the two different sets of tests and the classifications made by the examiner and the self-administered tests including questionnaires were compared concerning percentage of agreement (POA), sensitivity and positive predicted value (PPV).


The P4 and the bridging test had the highest POA (≥74.8%), sensitivity (≥75.5%) and PPV (≥91.2%) for posterior PGP. For anterior PGP the MAT test had highest POA (76.4%), and PPV (69.5%), and the modified Trendelenburg test the highest sensitivity (93.0%). Agreement between the two classifications was 87%.

A significantly higher number of positive P4 and bridging tests (p < 0.01) and a significantly lower number of positive Trendelenburg tests, Active Straight Leg raise and Straight Leg Raise (p < 0.05) were recorded by the examiner compared to the self-administered ones.


Our results indicate that self-administered test and questionnaires are possible to use for testing and classification of women with suspected PGP.

Agreement; Pelvic girdle pain; Pregnancy; Tests