Objective: The purpose of this review was to critically appraise the quality of studies evaluating the reliability of spinal stiffness assessment devices.
Methods: An electronic search of the MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PEDro, and Embase databases up to September 2016 was performed. Information on participants, measurement protocols, reliability, and accuracy were extracted. Two reviewers independently applied the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments checklist to assess the methodological quality of the measurement properties reliability and measurement error, which were rated as excellent, good, fair, or poor. The overall score was determined using the worst score counts method.
Results: In total, 1,728 studies were identified and 9 studies were included in this review. All included studies showed high reliability, with intraclass correlation coefficient values ranging from 0.65 to 0.99. In the quality assessment, 2 studies were rated as fair and 7 studies as poor, mainly because of sample sizes.
Conclusion: The studies demonstrated favorable high-reliability values but low methodological quality. In the future, high-quality studies with larger sample sizes are needed.
Author keywords: Spine, Reliability
Author affiliations: Integrative Spinal Research, Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Balgrist University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland
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