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The variability of goniometric measurements in ambulatory children with spastic cerebral palsy

McDowell, BC, Hewitt, V, Nurse, A, Weston, T and Baker, RJ 2000, 'The variability of goniometric measurements in ambulatory children with spastic cerebral palsy' , Gait and Posture, 12 (2) , pp. 114-121.

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This study assessed the variability of six goniometric measurements commonly used in the assessment of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Three experienced paediatric physiotherapists recorded three consecutive measurements of six joint ranges from 12 children with spastic CP. A fourth measurement was recorded 1 week later. The order of measurement with regards to both joint measurement and tester, was randomised to ensure a balanced experimental design. A blinded procedure was adopted with masked goniometers and a second assessor present to record the measurement. Results, analysed using generalizability theory, showed same day and different day measurement error of 910–14° (95% confidence limits) for the foot:thigh angle, abduction and internal rotation of the hip. The source of this was child-assessor and residual error. For ankle dorsiflexion and the popliteal angles, same day measurement error was similar. However, for joint ranges recorded on different days, error ranged from 918–28°. The major source of this was systematic differences in measurements recorded on different days. Results show a need for caution when using goniometric measurements in clinical decision making, particularly in the more tone dependent biarticular muscles after an initial assessment.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Gait and Posture
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0966-6362
Depositing User: RH Shuttleworth
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2011 10:04
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:51

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