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The concurrent validity and intrarater reliability of a hand-held dynamometer for the assessment of neck strength in semi-professional rugby union players

Adam, Ashall and Dobbin, Nicholas and Thorpe, Mary Catherine (2021) The concurrent validity and intrarater reliability of a hand-held dynamometer for the assessment of neck strength in semi-professional rugby union players. Physical Therapy in Sport. ISSN 1466-853X

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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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Abstract

Objectives The main objective of this study was to determine the concurrent validity between a hand-held (HHD) and mounted hand-held dynamometer (MHHD) for assessing isometric neck strength. Design Observational design. Setting Semiprofessional rugby club Participants Nineteen semi-professional rugby players (age = 26 ± 5 years, stature = 186.5 ± 6.5 cm, body mass = 98.7 ± 12.8 kg). Main outcome measures Concurrent validity (limits of agreement, correlation) between HHD and MHHD, the intrarater reliability (intra-class correlation, ICC) and comparison between playing positions. Results Absolute peak and mean peak force were systematically lower when using the HHD compared to MHHD, with the mean bias ranging from -1.8 to -3.8 kgf (P < 0.05). Differences were not evident for flexion when applying the correction equations (-0.5 to 2.1 kgf, P > 0.05) but remained for extension. Correlations between methods were large-to-very large; the ICCs for both methods were good (ICC = 0.72-0.89), with no difference between positions (P < 0.05). Conclusion The concurrent validity of HHD was considered acceptable when compared to the MHHD and the correction equation applied. Both methods are reliable and useful for assessing neck strength in rugby players, though, caution is needed when determining strength during neck extension.

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