Reliability of a new supination resistance measurement device and validation of the manual supination resistance test

Background: Kinematic observations are inconsistent in predicting lower-extremity injury risk, and research suggests that kinetic variables may be more important in this regard. Before kinetics can be prospectively investigated, we need reliable ways of measuring them clinically. A measurement instrument was manufactured that closely mirrors a manual test used to clinically estimate supination resistance force. The reliability of the instrument and the validity of the clinical test were investigated.

Methods: The left feet of 26 healthy individuals (17 men and 9 women; mean ± SD age, 25.9 ± 9.2 years; mean ± SD weight, 77.7 ± 13.3 kg) were assessed. Foot Posture Index (FPI-6), manual supination resistance, and machine supination resistance were measured. Intrarater and interrater reliability of all of the measurements were calculated. Correlations of the supination resistance measured by the device with FPI-6, the manual supination resistance test, and body weight were investigated.

Results: Interrater reliability of all of the measurements was generally poor. The supination resistance machine correlated highly with the manual supination test for the rater experienced with its use. Supination resistance measurements correlated poorly with the FPI-6 and weakly with body weight.

Conclusions: The supination resistance machine was shown to have sufficient limits of agreement for the study, but improvements need to be made for more meaningful research going forward. In this study, the force required to supinate a foot was independent of its posture, and approximately 12% of it was explained by body weight. Further work is required with a much larger sample size to build regression models that sufficiently predict supination resistance force and that will be of clinical use. The manual supination test is a valid clinical test for clinicians experienced in its use.

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