OBJECTIVE: To determine the interexaminer reliability of a protocol of use of a galvanic skin resistance device for detection of low resistance areas along the spinal column, in relatively pain-free subjects.
DESIGN: A blinded investigation of concordance of skin resistance examination findings over the spinal column using two clinicians experienced in the use of the instrument.
SETTING: A private practice chiropractic outpatient clinic.
PATIENTS: Sixty-four male and female chiropractic college students (mean age: 35 yr). The Visual Analog Pain Scale indicated a mean response of 7.6 mm on a 100-mm range.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Concordance of examiners evaluated with the kappa statistic.
RESULTS: The results indicated modest levels of concordance for the first study sample (n = 46). The average kappa was 0.37. The second group assessed (n = 18) also demonstrated only modest levels of interexaminer concordance. The average kappa value for this sample was 0.36.
CONCLUSION: The use of the Electrical Conductor Scanner instrument for evaluating putative spinal pathology through manifestations in skin resistance in relatively asymptomatic subjects is not supported by the results of this experiment. The unevenness of data generated from this experiment in certain spinal regions necessitates further investigation prior to making any strong conclusions regarding the usefulness of this instrument in the clinical setting.
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