Interrater Reliability of Six Tests of Trunk Muscle Function and Endurance
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Some studies have shown a relationship between trunk muscle strength and low back pain. Measures of trunk muscle strength and endurance, which are feasible in the clinical setting, are needed. The purpose of this study was to determine interrater reliability of six tests of abdominal and trunk extensor muscle strength and endurance. The tests included abdominal and extensor dynamic endurance, hand-held dynamometry of isometric flexion and extension, and abdominal and extensor static endurance. Thirty-nine healthy workers were recruited as subjects. Each was tested by three raters on 3 days within 1 week. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and the standard error of measurement (SEM) were calculated: abdominal dynamic endurance ICC = .89, SEM = 8 repetitions; extensor dynamic endurance ICC = .78, SEM = 9 repetitions; abdominal isometric force ICC = .25, SEM = 60 N; extensor isometric force ICC = .24, SEM = 68 N; abdominal static endurance ICC = .51, SEM = 35 seconds; extensor static endurance ICC = .59, SEM = 20 seconds. The dynamic endurance tests had acceptable interrater reliability. For the others, reliability was poor and the SEMs were large.
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