OBJECTIVE: This review surveys the literature regarding reliability studies of lumbar motion palpation.
DATA SOURCES: Using the indexing terms motion palpation lumbar spine and palpation, the following English language databases were surveyed: a) Medline, including back file; b) Embase; c) Cinahl; and d) Epic. Additionally, a manual search of the Chiropractic Research Archives Collection and JMPT was performed and researchers at Western States Chiropractic College were consulted. Pertinent references cited in bibliographies of retrieved papers were included if contributory.
STUDY SELECTION: Studies pertaining to intra- and interexaminer reliability of lumbar motion palpation were reviewed.
DATA EXTRACTION: Statistical analysis, subject selection, method of palpation and sources of error are discussed.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Multiple variations were noted in type of palpation, subjects examined, statistical analysis and experience of examiners.
CONCLUSIONS: To date, most studies have demonstrated marginal to poor interexaminer reliability, while good to moderate intrarater reliability has generally been reported.
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