OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to investigate the interexaminer reliability of the McKenzie classification system for patients with cervical or lumbar pain.
SUBJECTS: Fifty patients with spinal pain (25 with lumbar pain and 25 with cervical pain) were included in the study.
METHOD: The patients were assessed simultaneously by 2 physical therapists (14 in total) trained in the McKenzie method. Agreement was expressed using the multirater kappa coefficient and percent agreement for classification into (i) syndromes and (ii) subsyndromes.
RESULTS: The reliability for syndrome classification was kappa = 0.84 with 96% agreement for the total patient pool, kappa = 1.0 with 100% agreement for lumbar patients, and kappa = 0.63 with 92% agreement for cervical patients. The reliability for subsyndrome classification was kappa = 0.87 with 90% agreement for the total patient pool, kappa = 0.89 with 92% agreement for lumbar patients, and kappa = 0.84 with 88% agreement for the cervical patients.
CONCLUSION: The McKenzie assessment performed by persons trained in the McKenzie method may allow for reliable classification of patients with lumbar and cervical pain.
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