Inter-rater reliability of physical examinations in a prospective study of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders.
Smith-CK; Bonauto-DK; Silverstein-BA; Wilcox-D
J Occup Environ Med 2010 Oct; 52(10):1014-1018
OBJECTIVE: To test the inter-rater reliability of physical examinations for upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. METHODS: A total of 111 subjects were examined by both an occupational medicine physician and a physical therapist, who were blinded to each others' tests results and subjects' current symptoms and health histories. RESULTS: Inter-rater reliability was moderate to excellent (0.52 to 0.88) for shoulder tests but required the inclusion of symptoms for increased inter-rater reliability of fair to excellent (0.27 to 0.57) for the elbow and hand/wrist tests. CONCLUSIONS: With the lack of "gold standard" tests, it is important that epidemiologic field studies conduct and report inter-rater reliability testing results between study examiners. It is important for researchers to report the results of inter-rater reliability, so that practitioners can weigh the results of study findings to improve both their diagnosis and treatment of these costly injuries.
Biomechanics; Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Injuries; Mathematical-models; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Posture; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Skeletal-system-disorders
Caroline K. Smith, MPH, SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries