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PM R. 2011 May;3(5):472-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.10.025.

Hand-held dynamometry correlation with the gold standard isokinetic dynamometry: a systematic review.

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  • 1School of Chiropractic and Sports Science, Faculty of Health Science, Murdoch University, Health Sciences, South Street, Perth, Western Australia 6150, Australia.



To examine the current evidence regarding the reliability and validity of hand-held dynamometry for assessment of muscle strength in the clinical setting.


A search was conducted of the following databases: Cochrane, MEDLINE, PubMed, PEDro, OTseeker, Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL), and MANTIS, from inception until January 29, 2010.


The MeSH subject heading "muscle strength dynamometer" was searched, in isolation and in combination with the text word phrases "hand-held dynamometer" and "isokinetic." Four hundred fifty-four different studies met this search and were reviewed for possible inclusion.


Two independent reviewers assessed the quality of the included manuscripts. The PEDro data collection system was used in conjunction with the Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy Description. A third reviewer was used when there was disagreement between the primary reviewers.


Seventeen manuscripts met the inclusion criteria for this review, with a total of 19 studies (2 of the manuscripts involved 2 separate studies) that compared hand-held dynamometry with an identified reference standard (isokinetic muscle strength testing). The results demonstrated minimal differences between hand-held dynamometry and isokinetic testing.


Considering hand-held dynamometry's ease of use, portability, cost, and compact size, compared with isokinetic devices this instrument can be regarded as a reliable and valid instrument for muscle strength assessment in a clinical setting.

Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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