PURPOSE: To study the inter- and intraexaminer reliability of assessing palpatory cervical muscle tenderness using a Total Tenderness Score System.
DESIGN: Blinded, repeated measures of cervical muscle Total Tenderness Score.
SETTING: Primary contact ambulatory outpatient facility in a publicly (National Health Service) funded chiropractic research institution.
PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen asymptomatic volunteers, seven male and seven female, aged 23-45 yr.
INTERVENTION: Palpatory assessment of cervical muscle tenderness by two blinded examiners, three times in all per subject.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total Tenderness Score (TTS), measured on a rank/ordinal scale.
RESULTS: The inter- and intraexaminer reliability of TTS was evaluated using a Spearman rank correlation coefficient (r = .88 and r = .85, respectively), and using a Wilcoxon paired rank sum test (p = .85 and p = .07, respectively) and by visual inspection of a scatter-plot.
CONCLUSION: The Total Tenderness Score system was deemed to possess acceptable reliability for use in the cervical muscles.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Article only available in print.