Reliability of shoulder rotators isometric strength test using a novel pulley electromechanical dynamometer. Influence of the assessment position
De La Fuente, C.
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Background: The shoulder complex, because of its relatively extensive freedom of motion, offers a great variety of testing positions and articular planes for strength examination. Despite this, reliability of results are not clearly addressed. A novel pulley electromechanical dynamometer (FED) (functional electronic dynamometer) could be an alternative in strength assessment, however, the relative and absolute reliability have not been reported in the literature. Objectives: To report the results of shoulder internal (IR) and rotators (ER) peak torque reliability in two assessment positions by FED in asymptomatic subjects. Methods: Fifty-two healthy college students were included and tested twice within a two week period. In a supine position, the subjects randomly performed four isometric strength tests (i.e. IR at 40°, IR at 90°, ER at 40°, and ER at 90° of shoulder abduction). Results: The intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) for relative reliability at 90° were 0.96 (0.94-0.98) for IR and 0.94 (0.90-0.96) for ER. ICC at 40° were 0.89 (0.80-0.94) for IR and 0.97 (0.94-0.98) for ER. Absolute reliability expressed as standard error of measurement compared to the mean (SEM%) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of minimal detectable change percentage (MDC%) at 90° were 8.8% (-20.8, 28.4%) and 11.4% (-28.0, 35.2%) for ER. MDC% at 40° were 12.6% (-35.5, 34.8%) for IR and 18.1% (-28.1, 35, 2%) for ER. Conclusions: Isometric strength testing protocol using FED showed an excellent reproducibility and can be safely used in clinical settings to monitor the strength changes in a group of individuals or in a single individual. © 2018, Asian Journal of Sports Medicine.