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Man Ther. 2012 Feb;17(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Nov 26.

Inter-tester reliability of non-invasive technique for measurement of innominate motion.

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Centre for Physiotherapy Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Although the complex anatomical orientation and position of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) has rendered their 3D kinematic evaluation difficult, recent techniques of palpation-digitization of pelvic landmarks using electromagnetic tracking device have been able to accurately and non-invasively quantify the subtle SIJ kinematics. While this technique demonstrates radiographic validity and high test-retest reliability, it is yet to be assessed with regards to inter-tester and trial-to-trial reliability. A single-group repeated measure design using 4 testers was conducted to evaluate the inter-tester and trial-to-trial reliability of palpation-digitization technique for innominate vector length measurements using the Polhemus electromagnetic tracking device. Fourteen young, healthy adults between the ages of 18-40 years participated in the study. The innominate vector length was calculated from 3D co-ordinates of palpated and digitized pelvic landmarks in two test positions of hip. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine how palpation-digitization errors for pelvic landmarks impacts on innominate angle calculation. Reliability indexes of Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) (≥0.97) and Standard error of measurement (SEM) (≤2.02 mm) demonstrated very high inter-tester and trial-to-trial reliability and accuracy of palpation-digitization technique for innominate vector length measurements, irrespective of the two test positions. A higher consistency of measurements was obtained within-testers as compared to between testers, and sensitivity analysis demonstrated a negligible influence of palpation-digitization errors on the innominate angle measurements. The results support clinical and research utility of this technique for non-invasive kinematic evaluation of SIJ motion for this population. Further research on the use of this palpation-digitization technique in symptomatic population is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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