Convergent Evidence for Construct Validity of a 7-Point Likert Scale of Lower Limb Muscle Soreness

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Objectives:The aim of this study was to examine the construct validity of the 7-point Likert scale of muscle soreness, assessing its relationship with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). An additional aim was to examine its sensitivity as measure of symptom of eccentric-contraction muscle damage.Design:Correlational study.Setting:Self-administered questionnaires collected in field setting.Participants:Twenty-six soccer players.Interventions:4-week preseason training camp, which included high-intensity plyometric training sessions.Main Outcome Measurements:Players self-reported the perceived muscle soreness of the lower limbs using the VAS (criterion measure) and the 7-point Likert scale of muscle soreness.Results:Significant individual correlations were found between the 2 muscle soreness scales (mean r = 0.80 ± 0.07; range, 0.65 to 0.94). The correlation using the pooled data was 0.81. No significant muscle soreness scale × time interaction was found for standardized measures of muscle soreness (P = 0.98). The main factor for time (24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after the first plyometric training session) was significant (P = 0.0001). Effect sizes for the changes in the Likert and VAS absolute scores during the first 96 hours were similar (partial η2 = 0.13).Conclusions:The results of this study provide further convergent evidence for the construct validity of the 7-point Likert scale of muscle soreness. The 2 scales showed similar sensitivity to muscle soreness caused by eccentric contractions during the first 96 hours after plyometric exercises.

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