A review of scientific literature during the past decade reveals a serious lack of references to reliability tests for many procedures and methods described in validity, effectiveness, and correlational investigations in health research. This despite the subsequent application of the resutls of the research to health practice and consequent increased possibilities for misdiagnosis and / or improper therapy. It is evident that there exists a priority need for assessment and possible reassessment of the reliability of innovative as well as established methodologies. For those unfamiliar with the process, a model for reliability testing may be helpful. Such a model is presented (i.e. exemplified by the potentially powerful but currently underutilized non-invasive methodology, surface electromyography). The process for development of required standardized procedures and the subsequent rigorous experimental design for determination of reliability are discussed and detailed. Results of a study of twenty-two male and female subjects yielded reliability coefficients ranging between 0.73 and 0.97 (p<<0.01) for five different muscle states with two operators (A, B) in independent A-A-B-B-B-B-A-A sequences.
Author keywords: Surface Electromyography, Standardized Procedures, Reliability, Validity
Author affiliation: Vice-President for Research, New York Chiropractic College
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