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Papers of the Week

2021 May 06

Physiother Theory Pract

Moderate reliability of the lateral step down test amongst experienced and novice physical therapists.


Mansfield C, Spech C, Rethman K, Clagg S, Ingle A, Largent A, Vatti T, Morrow M, VanEtten L, Briggs M
Physiother Theory Pract. 2021 May 06:1-9.
PMID: 33956559.


: The lateral step-down test is used to appraise movement quality in patients with patellofemoral pain (PFP), however, it is unclear if reliability of the test is affected by physical therapist experience. Determine if there is a difference in reliability between 'experienced' and 'novice' physical therapists appraising movement quality of patients with PFP during the lateral step-down test. Three 'experienced' and 3 'novice' physical therapists analyzed movement quality of 22 participants [mean age (SD) 28.25 (6.5) years] with PFP. Physical therapists viewed two-dimensional videos of participants performing the lateral step-down test and appraised the quality with a score (0-1 = 'good'; 2-3 = 'fair', and 4-5 = 'poor') at baseline and 1 week. Inter- and intra-rater reliability were calculated with kappa and percent agreement. Differences between the groups were assessed with the chi-square test with an a priori alpha level of < 0.05. Inter- and intra-rater reliability ranged from fair to moderate (ĸ = 0.40-0.65). There was no difference in reliability between 'experienced' and 'novice' physical therapists at baseline ( = .13) or 1 week post testing ( = .94). There was no difference in reliability between 'experienced' and 'novice' physical therapists using categories to appraise movement quality during the lateral step-down test for patients with chronic PFP.