Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

ISSN 2055-2386
Original Research

Intra-Rater reliability of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) amongst NHS Physiotherapists

Joe L. Palmer1,2*, Andrew V. Cuff2-6 and Melanie Lindley2

*Correspondence: Joe L. Palmer

1. Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy Department, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Moorgate road, UK.

Author Affiliations

2. Sheffield Hallam University, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.

3. Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Sheffield Shoulder Physio, Remedy House, 24 Wilkinson St, Broomhall, Sheffield, S10 2GB, UK.

4. Consultant Physiotherapist, Artisan Healthcare, New Delhi, India.

5. Extended Scope Physiotherapist, Hodgson Physiotherapy Services, 6A Standbridge Lane, Sandal, Wakefield, WF2 7DY, UK.

6. Extended Scope Practitioner, North West Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service, Manchester, UK.


Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the intra-rater reliability of the FMS amongst a group of novice National Health Service (NHS) Physiotherapists. The secondary objective was to establish if Intra-rater reliability differed between non-specialist rotational Physiotherapists and Physiotherapists working within the musculoskeletal (MSk) setting.

Design: Reliability Study.

Method: Forty participants with no recent MSk injury were video recorded completing the 7 component FMS tests. Six NHS Physiotherapists with no previous experience using the FMS attended a 2 hour training programme delivered by a certified FMS practitioner. Raters then viewed and scored videos of the 40 participants completing the FMS.

Results: The intra-rater reliability of FMS composite scores was Excellent (mean ICC of 0.91 (95% CI 0.81-0.96)). The non-specialist rotational Physiotherapist group demonstrated Good-Excellent intra-rater reliability (ICC 0.9; 95% CI 0.79-0.95). Specialist MSk Physiotherapists demonstrated Excellent intra-rater reliability (ICC 0.92; 95% CI 0.84-0.96). Intra-rater reliability of the 7 component tests of the FMS ranged from Poor-Excellent (KW 95% CI 0.11-0.98).

Conclusion: Among novice NHS Physiotherapists, the FMS composite score demonstrated Excellent intra-rater reliability. MSk specialists were found to demonstrate a marginally superior level of intra-rater agreement compared to non-specialist rotational Physiotherapists; however this is likely to be negligible in a clinical context. Clinical specialism also appears to have little impact on the intra-rater reliability of FMS components with both groups of raters achieving a Poor-Excellent level of agreement.

Keywords: Intra-rater, reliability, functional movement screen, FMS

ISSN 2055-2386
Volume 4
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