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Repeatability of stature measurements in individuals with and without chronic low back pain

Burden, Adrian and Healey, Emma L. and Fowler, Neil E. and McEwan, Islay M. (2005) Repeatability of stature measurements in individuals with and without chronic low back pain. ISSN 1366-5847

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Abstract

Measurements of reduction in stature have been used to compare spinal loading in chronic low-back pain (CLBP) and asymptomatic populations. Whether there are any differences in the repeatability of stature measurements, between those with and without CLBP, is not known. This investigation aimed to determine the repeatability of stature measurements in those with (n = 12) and without (n = 12) CLBP, and to establish if the ability to produce repeatable measurements is retained after a specific timeframe. Stature measurements were taken on two separate sessions that were 2 weeks apart, using a stadiometer accurate to 0.01 mm. All participants attained a mean SD of ≤0.5 mm by the third measurement set taken on the first session of testing and no significant difference in mean SD was found between those with (0.37 mm) and without (0.40 mm) CLBP ( p > 0.05). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) demonstrated good levels of repeatability for all stature measurements obtained from the participants and the values for Standard error of the measurement (SEM) improved as the mean SD decreased with each measurement set. Investigators should have confidence in the ability of those with and without CLBP to produce equally repeatable stature measurements with appropriate prior practice. The second session of testing demonstrated that both groups had retained the ability to achieve the desired level of repeatability (SD ≤0.5 mm) 2 weeks later without further practice.

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