Methods: For the reliability section of this study, 14 patients with chronic LBP were included. For the discriminatory section, 10 patients with chronic LBP and 10 pain-free controls were recruited. In the correlation study, data from the 10 chronic LBP patients in the discriminatory section were used. The clinical test was conducted by a blinded examiner while the subjects attempted to independently activate transversus abdominis separate from the rest of the abdominal muscles (hollowing or draw-in maneuver). The intraclass correlation coefficients, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Pearson r correlation coefficients were calculated to assess reliability and validity.
Results: An intraclass correlation coefficient(2,1) of 0.72 (95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.90) was recorded for interrater reliability. The tool correctly identified the subject condition in 97% of the cases. The score did not correlate substantially with any clinical measures, with Pearson r ranging from 0.122 (P = .737) to 0.493 (P = .148).
Conclusions: This study showed that the proposed scale is a reliable tool and may be useful in discriminating patients with chronic LBP from pain-free controls. The poor correlation between the score and clinical measures may be due to the multidimensional nature of chronic LBP.
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