Table 1

Controlled vocabulary and keywords used to retrieve studies on the validity of spinal palpation

#1: Validity Terms

#2: Spinal Terms

#3: Procedure Terms

#4: Neuromuscular Dysfunction Terms

Accuracy, accurate

Cervical verterbrae [mh][sh][de]/cervical

Diagnosis [mh][sh][de]


Analysis of variance [mh] [sh] [de]

Lumbar vertebrae [mh] [sh] [de] /lumbar



Construct validity [sh]

Neck [mh] [sh] [de]

Manual exam*/manual diagnosis

Back pain [mh] [sh] [de]

Content validity [sh]

Para-spine, para-spinal




Spine [mh] [sh] [de] / Spinal

Manipulation, chiropractic [mh] [sh] [de]

Fixation/ Tissue Fixation [mh] [de]

Criterion / Criterion related validity [sh]

Thoracic vertebrae [mh] [sh] [de] / thoracic

Manipulation, orthopedic [mh] [sh] [de]


Discriminant analysis [mh] [de]


Manipulation, osteopathic [mh] [de]

Joint Instability [mh] [sh] [de]

Discriminant validity [sh]

Manipulation, spinal [mh] [de]

Low back pain [mh] [sh] [de]

Face validity [sh]

Palpation [mh] [sh] [de] /palpat*

Manipulable lesion

Gold standard


Instrumentation [sh] / instrument*

Motion unit

Judgment [mh] [sh]

Muscle tension / Muscle contraction [mh] [sh] [de]

Likelihood functions [mh] [de] / Likelihood ratio

Myofascial Pain Syndromes [mh] [sh] [de]

Predict* (predictive, predictor, predictability)

Neck pain [mh] [sh] [de]

Predictive value of tests [mh] [sh] [de]

Quality of Motion

Reference standards [mh] [de]

Range of Motion, Articular [mh] [de]/Range of motion [sh]

ROC / ROC curve [mh] [de]


Sensitivity and specificity [mh] [sh] [de]

Somatic dysfunction [de]

Valid, Validation, Validation studies [pt] [sh]

Subluxation [sh] [de]

Validity [sh]

Tender point*

Tissue texture

#5: Validity Assessment Terms

Trigger points [de]

Galvanic skin response [mh] [de]

Zygapophyseal joint [mh] / Zygapophysial

Measure*, Pain Measurement [mh] [sh] [de]

Radiography [mh] [sh] [de]

Thermography [mh] [sh] [de]

X-rays [mh] [sh], x-ray [de]

[mh] = Medical Subject Headings in MEDLINE; [pt] = publication type in MEDLINE; [sh] = Subject Heading in CINAHL [de] = Descriptor in MANTIS Search strategy: (#1 AND #2 AND #3 AND #4) OR (#2 AND #3 AND #4 AND #5) Note: Reliability and Validity see Reproducibility of Results; Validity of Results see Reproducibility of Results.

Murphy et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2003 3:3   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-3-3

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