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Vol. 21. Issue 4.
Pages 259-267 (01 July 2017)
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Vol. 21. Issue 4.
Pages 259-267 (01 July 2017)
Original research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.05.003
Intra- and inter-rater reliability of neutral head position and target head position tests in patients with and without neck pain
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Khalid Alahmari
Corresponding author
alahmarirt@gmail.com

Corresponding author at: Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.
, Ravi Shankar Reddy, Paul Silvian, Irshad Ahmad, Venkat Nagaraj, Mohammad Mahtab
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Highlights

  • Neutral head and target head position tests evaluate cervical proprioception.

  • Clinics commonly use those position tests, and it is important to test their reliability.

  • Intra- and inter-rater reliability was moderate to high for these tests.

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Tables (3)
Table 1. Demographic characteristics of patients with neck pain and healthy subjects.
Table 2. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the NHP and THP tests.
Table 3. Difference in scores between patients with neck pain and healthy controls.
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Abstract
Background

Cervical proprioception is a common term used in neck rehabilitation, and it is examined using neutral head position (NHP) and target head position (THP) tests.

Objective

To investigate intra- and inter-rater reliability of the NHP and THP tests in patients with neck pain and in healthy controls.

Methods

The intra-rater (between-day) and inter-rater (within-day) reliability of the NHP and THP tests were assessed in 36 patients with neck pain and 33 healthy subjects. NHP testing was evaluated in cervical extension, while THP testing was evaluated in six directions of cervical motion: cervical flexion, extension, side bending right, side bending left, rotation right, and rotation left.

Results

The intra-rater reliability for the NHP tests had intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values of 0.74–0.78 and a standard error of measurement (SEM) of 1.78–1.88; the THP tests had ICC values of 0.70–0.83 and SEM of 1.45–2.45. Likewise, inter-rater reliability for NHP had ICC values of 0.74–0.79 and SEM of 1.79–1.87. For the THP test, the inter-rater reliability had ICC values of 0.62–0.84 and SEM of 1.50–2.23.

Conclusion

Intra- and inter-rater reliability ranged from good to very good agreement both for NHP and for THP tests of cervical proprioception.

Keywords:
Cervical spine
Physical therapy
Assessment tools
Joint position sense

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