Reliability and Association with Injury of Movement Screens: A Critical Review

Abstract

Subjective assessment of athletes’ movement quality is widely used by physiotherapists and other applied practitioners within many sports. One of the beliefs driving this practice is that individuals who display ‘poor’ movement patterns are more likely to suffer an injury than those who do not. The aim of this review was to summarize the reliability of the movement screens currently documented within the scientific literature and explore the evidence surrounding their association with injury risk. Ten assessments with accompanying reliability data were identified through the literature search. Only two of these ten had any evidence directly related to injury risk. A number of methodological issues were present throughout the identified studies, including small sample sizes, lack of descriptive rater or participant information, ambiguous injury definitions, lack of exposure time reporting and risk of bias. These factors, combined with the paucity of research on this topic, make drawing conclusions as to the reliability and predictive ability of movement screens difficult. None of the movement screens that appear within the scientific literature currently have enough evidence to justify the tag of ‘injury prediction tool’.

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Correspondence to Robert McCunn.

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No funding was provided that contributed to the development of this manuscript. Robert McCunn and Hugh Fullagar are supported by ‘Science and Health in Football’ scholarships funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Conflict of interest

Robert McCunn, Tim Meyer, Hugh Fullagar, and Karen aus der Fünten declare that they have no conflicts of interest with the content of this review. Ian McKeown declares that he is the primary developer of the athletic ability assessment (AAA) movement screen; however, he does not stand to receive financial gain as a result. Additionally, the AAA is neither a patented commodity nor is it protected by copyright.

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McCunn, R., aus der Fünten, K., Fullagar, H.H.K. et al. Reliability and Association with Injury of Movement Screens: A Critical Review. Sports Med 46, 763–781 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-015-0453-1

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Keywords

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Injury Risk
  • Weighted Kappa
  • Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network
  • Movement Quality