To provide a comprehensive overview of clinical tests associated with functional lumbar segmental instability and motor control impairment in patients with low back pain (LBP), and to investigate their intrarater reliability, interrater reliability, or both.
A systematic computerized search was conducted on December 1, 2015, in 4 different databases (starting search year is indicated in parentheses, with articles included from that year until December 1, 2015): PubMed (1972–), Web of Science (1955–), Embase (1947–), and MEDLINE (1946–).
Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed during design, search, and reporting stages of this review. The included population comprised patients with primary LBP.
Data were extracted as follows: (1) description and scoring of the clinical tests; (2) population characteristics; (3) inclusion and exclusion criteria; (4) description of the used procedures; (5) results for both intra- and interrater reliability; and eventually (6) notification on used statistical method. The risk of bias of the included articles was assessed with the use of the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments checklist.
A total of 16 records were eligible, and 30 clinical tests were identified. All included studies investigated interrater reliability, and 3 studies investigated intrarater reliability. The identified interrater reliability scores ranged from poor to very good (κ=−.09 to .89; intraclass correlation coefficient, .72–.96), and the intrarater reliability scores ranged from fair to very good (κ=.51–.86).
Three clinical tests (aberrant movement pattern, prone instability test, Beighton Scale) could be identified as having an adequate interrater reliability. No conclusions could be made for intrarater reliability. However, further research should focus on better study designs, provide an overall agreement for uniformity and interpretation of clinical tests, and should implement research regarding validity.
List of abbreviations:COSMIN (COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments), GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation), ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), LBP (low back pain), LSI (lumbar segmental instability), MCI (motor control impairment), ROB (risk of bias)
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Published online: August 25, 2016
© 2016 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine