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J Rehabil Med. 2006 Nov;38(6):360-7.

Optoelectronic movement analysis to measure motor performance in patients with chronic low back pain: test of reliability.

Author information

  • 1Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg, Sweden. christina.schon-ohlsson@fhs.gu.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess test-retest reliability of the Posturo-Locomotion-Manual(PLM) test in patients with chronic low back pain.

DESIGN:

A controlled study in which the PLM test was used repeatedly on patients with chronic low back pain and persons without back pain.

SUBJECTS:

Twelve patients with treatment-resistant chronic low back pain, selected by 2 orthopaedic spine surgeons and 12 age- and sex-matched individuals with no back pain history.

METHODS:

An optoelectronic camera and a computer were used to quantify the performance during a simple test in which subjects picked up an object from the floor and transported it up to a shelf, thereby forcing the body through postural, locomotor and manual movements. The outcome measures were: movement time, simultaneity index and phase times for postural, locomotion and arm movement phases. Statistical analyses regarding intra-individual agreement between the measurements (reliability analysis) and changes over time were carried out.

RESULTS:

The effect of test movement habituation was minimized when the lowest mean value of any of 3 consecutive measures (tri-average) was used. In the control group, variation between test occasions was small. In the group of patients with chronic low back pain there was a random measurement error before intervention (sensory motor learning). After intervention the PLM test had the same precision in both groups.

CONCLUSION:

When the tri-average measure is used, the influence of test movement habituation is minimized and the optoelectronic PLM test is found to be reliable and responsive. It proved to be a useful tool to quantify dynamic performance in freely moving patients with chronic low back pain.

PMID:
17067969
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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