Introduction: Mastoid fossa temperature differentials (MFD) are used to analyze a neurological component of the vertebral subluxation. Its repeatability was studied using a chiropractic temperature instrument.
Methods: Three examiners twice scanned 28 relatively healthy volunteers using the C-3000 Tytron instrument. A 90th percentile was calculated for absolute temperature differences (in Celsius) between the two trials for MFD by examiner. As an example, a 90th percentile of 0.50 degrees for an examiner means that 90 percent of his or her absolute MFDs were at or below 0.50 degrees.
Results: The 90th percentiles by examiner were as follows: Examiner A: 0.35 degrees; Examiner B: 0.84 degrees; Examiner C: 1.44 degrees.
Discussion: These results highlight the different levels of intra-examiner repeatability for MFDs. While it may not be feasible for chiropractors in practice to obtain their own individual percentile, other methods of coping with measurement error could be used such as obtaining two successive MFD readings and using the average of the two.
Conclusion: Different examiners in this study had different levels of repeatability using this instrument. Users in the field may wish to take measurement error into account when using this assessment in their patient care.
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