Bittmann, F.N.; Dech, S.; Aehle, M.; Schaefer, L.V. Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility. Diagnostics2020, 10, 996.
Bittmann, F.N.; Dech, S.; Aehle, M.; Schaefer, L.V. Manual Muscle Testing—Force Profiles and Their Reproducibility. Diagnostics 2020, 10, 996.
The manual muscle test (MMT) is a flexible diagnostic tool, which is used in many disciplines, applied in several ways. The main problem is the subjectivity of the test. The MMT in the version of a “break test” depends on the tester’s force rise and the patient’s ability to resist the applied force. As a first step, the investigation of the reproducibility of the testers’ force profiles is required for valid application. The study examined the force profiles of n=29 testers (n=9 experiences (Exp), n=8 little experienced (LitExp), n =12 beginners (Beg)). The testers performed 10 MMTs according to the test of hip flexors, but against a fixed leg to exclude the patient’s reaction. A handheld device recorded the temporal course of the applied force. The results show significant differences between Exp and Beg concerning the starting force (padj=0.029), the ratio of starting to maximum force (padj=0.005) and the normalized mean Euclidean distances between the 10 trials (padj=0.015). The slope is significantly higher in Exp vs. LitExp (p=0.006) and Beg (p=0.005). The results also indicate that experienced testers show inter-tester differences and partly even a low intra-tester reproducibility. That highlights the necessity of an objective MMT-assessment. Furthermore, an agreement on a standardized force profile is required – a suggestion is given.
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