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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 228-235 (01 May 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 228-235 (01 May 2019)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.002
Concurrent validity of handheld dynamometer measurements for scapular protraction strength
Ricardo Marcos Liberatori Juniora,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federa de São Carlos. Rodovia Washington Luis, km 235, CEP: 13565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.
, Walter Ansanello Nettoa, Gabriela Ferreira Carvalhoa, Gisele Garcia Zancab, Salomão Chade Assan Zatitic, Stela Marcia Mattielloa
a Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), São Carlos, SP, Brazil
b Centro Universitário das Américas, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
c Department of shoulder Surgery and Microsurgery, Hospital Especializado de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

  • Handheld dynamometer may be considered valid for scapular protraction strength test.

  • The best correlation with the gold standard occurs with subjects tested seated.

  • Handheld dynamometer tends to overestimate the peak force.

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Figures (3)
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Tables (2)
Table 1. Sample demographics, anthropometric and isometric muscle strength assessment data.
Table 2. Pearson correlation and linear regression between handheld dynamometer (HHD) and isokinetic dynamometer measurements.
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Handheld dynamometers (HHD) provide quick and low-cost assessments of muscle strength and their use has been increasing in clinical practice. There is no available data related to the validity of HHD for this measurement.


To verify the concurrent validity of scapular protraction measurements using an HHD.


Individuals with traumatic anterior glenohumeral instability were allocated in Instability Group (n=20), healthy swimmers were allocated in Athletes Group (n=19) and healthy subjects were allocated in Sedentary Group (n=21). Concurrent validity was verified by the Pearson correlation test between HHD and isokinetic measurements. The agreement between instruments was verified by Bland–Altman plots, for each of the two HHD positions.


A moderate correlation was observed between seated (r=0.59) and lying supine HHD (r=0.54) and isokinetic dynamometer measurements for the all groups. Separated group analysis exhibited a strong correlation between seated HHD and isokinetic dynamometer measurements in the Instability Group (r=0.80), Sedentary Group (r=0.79) and Athletes Group (r=0.76). The Bland–Altman plot showed greater agreement in the seated position than the lying supine position when comparing measurements with the HHD and isokinetic in both the general sample and separated groups.


The HHD may be considered a valid tool for assessing scapular protraction muscle strength among healthy athletes, non-athletes and subjects with shoulder instability. We recommend to assess subjects in the seated position and to be aware that the HHD tends to overestimate the peak force, compared with the gold-standard isokinetic dynamometer.

Muscle strength
Shoulder instability
Outcomes measures


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