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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 Jun; 21(5): 341-7.

The reliability of measuring active and passive cervical range of motion: an observer-blinded and randomized repeated-measures design.

Christensen HW, Nilsson N.

Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark.

PURPOSE: To study the intra- and interexaminer reliability of measuring active and passive cervical range of motion (ROM). STUDY DESIGN: Observer-blinded, randomized repeated measures of active or passive cervical ROM by two different examiners. SETTING: Institute of Medical Biology (Center of Biomechanic) at Odense University. PARTICIPANTS: Forty asymptomatic students, 20 of each gender, aged 20 to 30 yr, from the University of Odense. INTERVENTION: Measurements of either active or passive cervical ROM using the electrogoniometer CA-6000 Spine Motion Analyzer by two blinded examiners. Each subject was measured four times, twice by each examiner in random order, using a mean-of-three-measurements protocol. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The reliability within and between examiners in active and passive ROM was assessed by the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient [ICC (2,k)]. Coefficient of variation (CV) was used to assess the reproducibility within and between examiners in active and passive ROM. RESULTS: Intraexaminer ICCs for active ROM ranged from .81 to .97 and for passive ROM from .85 to .98. The interexaminer ICCs for active ROM ranged from .76 to .98 and for passive ROM from .65 to .95. Intraexaminer CVs for active ROM ranged from 2.42 to 10.93 and for passive ROM, from 1.82 to 5.77. The interexaminer CVs for active ROM ranged from 2.30 to 14.43 and for passive ROM, from 2.58 to 10.93. CONCLUSION: Active and passive ROM could be measured reliably in six movement directions by the same examiner. Measurements were reliable when measured by different examiners for active cervical ROM in six movement directions and passive total ROM in three motion planes.


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