Reproducibility of cervical range of motion in patients with neck pain
1 Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Hospital and Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Melbourne, Australia
3 Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Maastricht University, the Netherlands
4 NIVEL Foundation, Utrecht, The Netherlands
5 Department of General Practice and Nursing Home Medicine, LUMC Medical Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands
6 Department of Social Psychiatry, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
7 Department of General Practice, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2005, 6:59 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-59Published: 13 December 2005
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 inter-rater reproducibility of the measurement of active Range of Motion (ROM) in patients with neck pain using the Cybex Electronic Digital Inclinometer-320 (EDI-320).
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.
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.
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.