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Agreement and validity of observational risk screening guidelines in evaluating ACL injury risk factors Ekegren, Christina Louise

Abstract

Study Design: Methodological study. Objectives: To examine the agreement and validity of using observational risk screening guidelines to evaluate ACL injury risk factors. Background: Post-pubescent females have an increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury compared with their male counterparts partly due to their high-risk landing and cutting strategies. There are currently no scientifically-tested methods to screen for these high risk strategies in the clinic or on the field. Methods and Measures: Three physiotherapists used observational risk screening guidelines to rate the neuromuscular characteristics of 40 adolescent female soccer players. Drop jumps were rated as high risk or low risk based on the degree of knee abduction. Side hops and side cuts were rated on the degree of lower limb 'reaching'. Ratings were evaluated for intrarater and interrater agreement using kappa coefficients. 3D motion analysis was used as a gold standard for determining the validity of ratings. Results: Acceptable intrarater and interrater agreement (k≥0.61) were attained for the drop jump and the side hop, with kappa coefficients ranging from 0.64 to 0.94. Acceptable sensitivity (≥0.80) was attained for the side hop and the side cut, with values ranging from 0.88 to 1.00. Acceptable specificity (≥0.50) was attained for the drop jump, with values ranging from 0.64 to 0.72. Conclusion: Observational risk screening is a practical and cost-effective method of screening for ACL injury risk. Based on levels of agreement and sensitivity, the side hop appears to be a suitable screening task. Agreement was acceptable for the drop jump but its validity needs further investigation.

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