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Validity and reliability of isometric tests for the evidence-based assessment of arm strength impairment in wheelchair rugby classification

journal contribution
posted on 19.12.2019 by Barry Mason, Viola Altmann, Michael Hutchinson, Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and test-retest reliability of a battery of single-joint isometric strength tests, to establish whether the tests could be used for evidence-based classification in wheelchair rugby (WR). Design: Cross-sectional. Methods: Twenty male WR athletes with impaired arm strength and thirty able-bodied (AB) participants (15 male, 15 female) performed four isometric strength tests. Each test required three 5- sec efforts and examined maximal isometric force for flexion and extension around the shoulder and elbow joint. Test validity was established by comparing differences (Cohen’s effect sizes [d]) in strength between WR athletes and AB participants. Differences were also explored between male and female AB participants. Twenty AB participants returned for a second visit to establish the test-retest reliability of the test battery. Results: Significantly lower force values were observed for all isometric strength measures in WR athletes compared to AB participants (p ≤ 0.0005; d ≥ 2.14). Female AB participants also produced significantly less force than male AB participants for all joint actions (p ≤ 0.0005; d ≥ 1.93). No significant differences were identified between trials for any measure of strength, with acceptable levels of test-retest reliability reported (ICCs ≥ 0.97, SEM ≤ 19.3 N and CV ≤ 8.4%). Conclusions: The current results demonstrated the validity of a battery of isometric strength tests, suggesting they can be used to reliably infer strength impairment in WR athletes, which is a pre requisite when working towards evidence-based classification in Paralympic sport.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

Volume

23

Issue

6

Pages

559 - 563

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Sports Medicine Australia.

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2019.12.022

Acceptance date

17/12/2019

Publication date

2019-12-23

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1440-2440

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Barry Mason Deposit date: 19 December 2019

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