2. Sheffield Hallam University, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2BA, UK.
3. Extended Scope Practitioner, Primary Care Sheffield, Darnall Primary Care Centre, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S9 5DH, UK.
Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to determine the inter-rater reliability of the FMS when used by novice NHS (National Health Service) Physiotherapists. The secondary objective was to determine whether clinical specialism has any impact on the inter-rater reliability of the FMS.
Design: Reliability study.
Methods: 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 inter-rater reliability of the FMS composite score was excellent (ICC of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.41- 0.93)).Non-specialist rotational Physiotherapists demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.89, 95%CI 0.78-0.94), whereas the specialist musculoskeletal Physiotherapists demonstrated good interrater reliability (ICC = 0.79, 95%CI 0.19-0.92) for FMS composite score. The seven individual movement tests of the FMS demonstrated poor to excellent inter-rater reliability. The Hurdle Step was the least reliable of the movement tests (kw = 0.15, 95% CI: -0.09-0.38), whereas Shoulder Mobility was the most reliable of the movement tests (kw= 0.85, 95%CI: 0.72-0.97).The seven individual movement tests of the FMS demonstrated moderate to excellent inter-rater reliability between non-specialist rotational Physiotherapists. In contrast, the seven individual movement tests of the FMS demonstrated poor to excellent inter-rater reliability between specialist musculoskeletal Physiotherapists.
Conclusion: The FMS represents a good attempt to objectify the subjective with the FMS composite score demonstrating excellent inter-rater reliability Due to poor construct validity, it has been suggested only component scores should be utilised.
The results from this study suggest that five of the seven individual movement tests do not demonstrate acceptable reliability for clinical use.
With the composite score lacking construct validity and the majority of the component scores lacking both intra- and inter-rater reliability, the continued use of FMS within clinical practice is not supported.
Keywords: Inter-rater, Reliability, Functional Movement Screen, FMS