Physiotherapy Outcome Measures Essay

Physiotherapy Outcome Measures Essay

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Outcome measures are used in all physiotherapy areas not only in research, but also in clinical practice. Therefore, reproducibility studies are needed to assess the repeatability or consistency of these measurements. The aim of this experiment is to examine the test retest repeatability by one practitioner for an outcome measure in physiotherapy. Seventeen subjects were recruited to participate in this experiment. Three separate readings were taken for each subject on each day on two different occasions. The results showed that there was an excellent repeatability within a day and between days with an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.98 and 0.92 respectively. The 95% confidence interval of the difference of value between -1.08 and 1.10 showed no difference within subject’s score. Also, the standard error measurement (SEM) was 1.78 which is considered as an acceptable value in clinical practice. The Bland and Altman 95% limits of agreement (LOA) were -2.7 to 4.7.
In conclusion, despite this outcome measure demonstrated excellent test retest reliability, lack of appropriate sample size may decrease the reproducibility of this result. Consequently, a further research is required with an appropriate sample size to draw a definite conclusion.
Introduction
Reliability of an outcome measurement reflects how reproducible or repeatable the measurement is under a given set of circumstances. For an outcome measurement to be useful, it must provide stable or reproducible values with small errors of measurement when no variable is influencing the attribute that the measurement is quantifying (Rankin and Stoke 1998). In practice, the physiotherapist introduces a treatment intervention and then evaluates the effectiveness of t...


... middle of paper ...


...), the less the variation, the greater the reliability. Subsequently, the value of SEM of 1.78 showed that there was a small variation with repeated measurements.
Bland and Altman’s 95% limits of agreement provide that approximately 95% of the difference between two measurements fall between -2.7 and 4.7. Scrutiny of the plot presented in Fig. 4 indicated no evidence of learning effect and minimal error for the outcome measure for the subjects. The decision whether this limit is acceptable clinically is depending on therapist’s clinical judgment (Portney and Watkins 2009).

In conclusion, despite this outcome measure showed excellent reliability , the small sample size and the missing data may have affected its reliability (Shoukri et al, 2004). Therefore, a further study is recommended with larger sample size to confirm the consistency of this outcome measure.

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