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Chiropractic Research Review

Dynamometer Poor Measure of Flexion/Extension?

Manufacturer claims and calibration protocols rarely negate the need for an independent assessment of evaluation equipment. Verifying the validity and reliability of clinical evaluation mechanisms helps ensure clinical accuracy and maximize patient benefit.

This study assessed the reliability and validity of an isometric dynamometer by loading its resistance arms with known input forces at specified configurations, then comparing the torques generated with the torque output of the equipment.

Ten subjects were evaluated over a two-day period by two clinicians who used the dynamometer to measure trunk flexion, trunk extension, cervical flexion and cervical extension.

Results: The validity experiments exposed a systematic error involving the tested machine. Although individual examiners demonstrated good to excellent results in reproducing measurements, there was concern from a clinical perspective because of variability in day-to-day data generated by the device. The authors note that these findings illustrate the potential problems associated with an individual piece of evaluation equipment and recommend a thorough assessment of accuracy prior to clinical use.

Dainty D, Mior S, Bereznick D. Validity and reliability of an isometric dynamometer as an evaluative tool in a rehabilitative clinic. Journal of Sports Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, 1998:12(3), pp109-117.

Chiropractic Research Review

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