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Establishing the reliability of a novel battery of range of motion tests to enable evidence-based classification in Para Swimming

Nicholson, VP and Spathis, JG and Hogarth, LW and Connick, MJ and Beckman, EM and Tweedy, SM and Payton, CJ and Burkett, BJ (2018) Establishing the reliability of a novel battery of range of motion tests to enable evidence-based classification in Para Swimming. Physical Therapy in Sport, 32. pp. 34-41. ISSN 1466-853X

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Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. Objectives: To evaluate the reliability of swimming-specific range of movement tests developed in order to permit evidenced-based classification in the sport of para swimming. Design: Test-retest intra- and inter-examiner reliability. Setting: International Swimming training camps and university exercise science departments. Participants: 42 non-disabled participants (mean age 23.2 years) and 24 Para swimmers (mean age 28.5 years). Main outcome measures: Intra- and inter-examiner reliability of a battery of novel active range of motion tests. Results: Good to excellent intra-examiner reliability was found for the majority (32/34) of tests in non-disabled participants (ICC = 0.85–0.98). SEM values ranged from 1.18° to 6.11°. Similarly, good to excellent inter-examiner reliability was found for the majority (35/42) of tests in non-disabled participants (ICC = 0.85–0.98). SEM values range from 0.73° to 6.52°. Para swimmers exhibited significantly reduced range of motion compared to non-disabled participants. Conclusions: The large majority of ROM tests included in this novel battery were reliable both within and between examiners in non-disabled participants. The tests were found to differentiate between non-disabled participants and Para swimmers with hypertonia or impaired muscle power.

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