Investigating the Test–Retest Reliability and Validity of Hand-Held Dynamometry for Measuring Knee Strength in Older Women with Knee Osteoarthritis
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Hand-held dynamometry (HHD) can be used to evaluate strength when gold-standard isokinetic dynamometry (IKD) is not feasible. HHD is useful for measuring lower limb strength in a healthy population; however, its reliability and validity in individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA) has received little attention. In this research, we examined the test-retest reliability and validity of HHD in older women with knee OA. We also examined the associations between reliability and symptom and disease severity.
A total of 28 older women with knee OA completed knee extension and flexion exertions measured using HHD and IKD. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC2,3), standard error of measurement, and minimal detectable change were calculated. Correlation coefficients and regressions evaluated the relationships between inter-trial differences and symptom and disease severity.
High test-retest reliability was demonstrated for both exertions with each device (ICC2,3 = 0.83-0.96). Variance between trials was not correlated with OA symptoms. Criterion validity was good (ICC2,3 = 0.76), but extension yielded lower agreement than flexion. Regression analysis demonstrated that true strength can be predicted from HHD measurements.
HHD is a reliable tool for capturing knee extension and flexion in individuals with OA. Because of lower agreement, HHD might be best suited for evaluating within-subject strength changes rather than true strength scores. However, gold-standard extension strength magnitudes may reasonably be predicted from regression equations (r2 = 0.82).
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