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J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2013 Jun;57(2):156-64.

Interexaminer reliability of cervical motion palpation using continuous measures and rater confidence levels.

Author information

  • 1Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, San Jose, CA, USA.

Abstract

in English, French

INTRODUCTION:

Motion palpators usually rate the movement of each spinal level palpated, and their reliability is assessed based upon discrete paired observations. We hypothesized that asking motion palpators to identify the most fixated cervical spinal level to allow calculating reliability at the group level might be a useful alternative approach.

METHODS:

Three examiners palpated 29 asymptomatic supine participants for cervical joint hypomobility. The location of identified hypomobile sites was based on their distance from the T1 spinous process. Interexaminer concordance was estimated by calculating Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) and mean absolute differences (MAD) values, stratified by degree of examiner confidence.

RESULTS:

For the entire participant pool, ICC [2,1] = 0.61, judged "good." MAD=1.35 cm, corresponding to mean interexaminer differences of about 75% of one cervical vertebral level. Stratification by examiner confidence levels resulted in small subgroups with equivocal results.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

A continuous measures study methodology for assessing cervical motion palpation reliability showed more examiner concordance than was usually the case in previous studies using discrete methodology.

KEYWORDS:

cervical spine; concordance; fixation; motion palpation

PMID:
23754861
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3661183
Free PMC Article
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