Visual estimation of joint angles at the elbow

Rashid Barakat Abu-Rajab, A. Marsh, D. Young, L.A. Rymaszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of visual estimation of elbow joint angles. A total of 116observers (93 doctors and 23 physiotherapists) were shown 21 digital images of two arms in predeWned degrees of elbow Xexion on two separate occasions. They estimated the angle of Xexion to the nearest 5°. Only 70.8% of estimates were within +5°, although intra-observer agreement was good among all groups tested (ICC range 0.963-0.983). Orthopaedic consultants and registrars were equivalent and statistically better at estimating the angles compared to senior house officers and physiotherapists (P < 0.001). Compared to the angles of 85 and 90°, all other angles were signifcantly less likely to be estimated to within +5° (P < 0.001). In conclusion, visual estimation of joint angles at the elbow may not be desirable in cases where accurate serial assessment is required for clinical decision making. The use of a goniometer by an agreed standardized protocol is advised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-467
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • elbow
  • visual estimation
  • angles
  • assessment
  • elbow flexion
  • angle of flexion

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