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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Jul;86(7):1349-55.

Scapular positioning in patients with shoulder pain: a study examining the reliability and clinical importance of 3 clinical tests.

Author information

1
Division of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Department of Health Sciences, Hogeschool, Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium. Jo.Nijis@vub.ac.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the interobserver reliability, internal consistency, and clinical importance of 3 clinical tests for the assessment of scapular positioning in patients with shoulder pain.

DESIGN:

Prospective repeated-measures design.

SETTING:

Private practices for physical therapy and hospital outpatient physical therapy divisions.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-nine patients with shoulder pain who were diagnosed by a physician as having a shoulder disorder.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Study participants filled in a visual analog scale for pain and the Shoulder Disability Questionnaire. Next, 2 assessors performed the following tests: measurement of the distance between the posterior border of the acromion and the table, measurement of the distance from the medial scapular border to the fourth thoracic spinous processes, and the lateral scapular slide test.

RESULTS:

The interobserver reliability coefficients were greater than .88 (intraclass correlation coefficients) for the measurement of the distance between the posterior border of the acromion and the table, were greater than .50 for the measurement of the distance from the medial scapular border to the fourth thoracic spinous processes, and were greater than .70 for the lateral scapular slide test. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for internal consistency for all tests was .88. No associations between the outcome of the tests and self-reported pain severity or disability were found.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data provide evidence favoring the interobserver reliability of 2 of 3 tests for the assessment of scapular positioning in patients with shoulder pain. The clinical importance of the tests' outcomes, however, is questionable.

PMID:
16003663
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2005.03.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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