Reliability of maximum isometric arm, grip and pinch strength measurements in children (7-12 years) with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy

Koen Dekkers*, Yvonne Janssen-Potten, Andrew M. Gordon, Lucianne Speth, Rob Smeets, Eugene Rameckers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Purpose: To investigate test-retest and inter-rater reliability of maximum isometric arm muscle strength measurements using the hand-held dynamometer (HDD) and maximum isometric grip and pinch strength measurements using the Biometrics E-Link Evaluation System in children aged 7-12 years with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Materials and methods: All data were obtained using a test-retest study design. The study met the conditions of the COSMIN criteria to achieve good methodological quality. Results: For arm strength measurements, all test-retest reliability intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values and all but one inter-rater reliability ICC value indicated excellent reliability. For grip- and pinch strength measurements, all test-retest reliability and inter-rater reliability ICC values showed excellent reliability. The standard error of measurement values ranged from 4.97 to 11.36 N (HDD) and 0.37 to 1.81 kg (E-link). Smallest detectable change values ranged from 13.79 to 31.49 N (HDD) and 1.03 to 5.02 kg (E-link). Conclusions: The HDD and E-link system are usable measurement instruments for cross-sectional muscle strength measurements in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy. It is not clear if both instruments are usable to measure changes in muscle strength within an individual, especially if a child with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy has low muscle strength. Caution in the interpretation of changes in muscle strength is therefore necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1453
Number of pages6
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2020

Keywords

  • Unilateral cerebral palsy
  • muscle strength
  • arm strength
  • grip strength
  • reliability
  • clinimetric properties
  • hemiplegia
  • children
  • SYSTEM
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • VALIDITY

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