Original Research

The reliability and validity of upper quadrant posture and two-dimensional range of motion measurement tools

S. Van Niekerk, Q. Louw
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 64, No 3 | a109 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v64i3.109 | © 2008 S. Van Niekerk, Q. Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 January 2008 | Published: 08 January 2008

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S. Van Niekerk, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Q. Louw, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

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Measuring upper quadrant posture and movement is a challenge to researchers and clinicians. A  range of postural measurement tools is commonly used in the clinical setting and in research projects to evaluate postural align-ment, but information about the validity and reliability of these tools and thus as election of the optimal tool for a specific project is often uncertain. This reviewaims to make recommendations to clinicians and researchers regarding practical,valid and reliable tools to assess upper quadrant posture and range of motion.Electronic databases and key journals were searched. An adapted appraisal toolwas utilised to assess the methodology for each of the nine selected articles. Nine eligible articles reporting on thegoniometer, flexicurve and inclinometer were included. This review highlights the fact that a range of two-dimensional(2D) posture measurement tools are being used in clinical practice and research. Although the findings for the reliability and validity of the tools included in this review appear to be promising, strong recommendations are limited by the imprecision of the results. Thus, the primary issue hampering the recommendation for the most reliable and valid tool to use in the clinical or research setting is due to the limitations pertaining the analysis of the data, and the interpretation thereof.


Reliability; validity; posture; measurement tool and upper quadrant


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