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n International SportMed Journal - The repeatability of clinical and laboratory tests to measure scapular position and movement during arm abduction : research article
Background : There is evidence that abnormal scapular position and movement (scapular dyskinesis) is associated with shoulder pathology. However, the clinical and laboratory assessment of scapular dyskinesis, in particular the repeatability of tests used, has not been well described.
Research question : What is the repeatability of three tests that can be used for the evaluation of scapular displacement during arm abduction?
Type of study : Repeatability study.
Methods : Ten non-injured subjects (20 shoulders) performed three arm abduction tests to 45° and 90° on two separate occasions. The three tests were (1) a previously described Lateral Scapular Slide Test (LSST) measuring medio-lateral displacement of the inferior scapular angle from the midline, (2) a novel modification of the Lateral Scapular Slide Test (MSST) measuring medio-lateral displacement of the inferior scapular angles and the superior medial border of the scapula, and (3) a novel test of Scapular Mapping (SM) using a three-dimensional (3-D) motion analysis system measuring antero-posterior displacement of the inferior and superior scapula.
Results : The repeatability (intra-class correlation coefficient : ICC) for the LSST was 0.86 at 45°, and 0.85 at 90° abduction. The ICC for the MSST (superior medial border) was 0.65 from 0-45° and 0.79 from 0-90° abduction. The ICC for the MSST (inferior angle) was 0.73 from 0-45° and 0.56 from 0-90° abduction. The ICC for SM (superior marker) was 0.90 from 0-45° and 0.91 from 0-90° abduction, and SM (inferior marker) was 0.94 from 0-45° and 0.63 from 0-90° abduction.
Conclusion : The LSST is a repeatable test for determining medio-lateral inferior scapular angle displacement (r=0.85), the MSST is repeatable for superior scapular angle medio-lateral displacement (r=0.65-0.79), and SM is highly repeatable at 45° arm abduction for measuring antero-posterior scapular displacement (r=0.90-0.94).
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