Musculoskeletal Predictors of Movement Quality for the Forward Step-down Test in Asymptomatic Women

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Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the interrater reliability of movement-quality ratings for the forward step-down (FSD) test and to compare hip muscle strength and lower extremity joint range of motion and muscle flexibility among asymptomatic women with different levels of movement quality.

BACKGROUND:

The interrater reliability of the FSD test has not yet been investigated. Additionally, it is not known whether differences in musculoskeletal measures exist among individuals with different levels of movement quality during the FSD test.

METHODS:

Two physical therapists assessed movement quality during the FSD test in 26 asymptomatic women (mean ± SD age, 22.7 ± 0.9 years). Hip muscle strength and lower extremity joint range of motion and muscle flexibility were also assessed. The interrater reliability of the FSD test was estimated by using the kappa coefficient and percent agreement. Differences in musculoskeletal measures based on movement quality were assessed by independent t tests.

RESULTS:

The kappa coefficient and percent agreement for rating the quality of movement on the FSD test were 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.57, 1.00) and 85%, respectively. The subjects with moderate movement quality had significantly less strength of the hip abductors, less knee flexion range of motion measured in prone (quadriceps flexibility), and less hip adduction range of motion measured in sidelying (iliotibial band/tensor fascia latae flexibility) compared to those with good movement quality.

CONCLUSION:

There was good agreement for the rating of movement quality during the FSD test, and there were physical attributes that distinguished those with moderate from those with good quality of movement.

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