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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors relating to outcomes on the maximum voluntary effort test Iwama, Michael


The Maximum Voluntary Effort testA b(MstrVaEct) is an integral part of a battery of tests commonly referred to as the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). The MVE purportedly measures sincerity of effort by analyzing the degree of variation in repeated maximal handgrip strength trials. However not much is known about the performances of chronically disabled people on the MVE and the construct validity of the test is unclear. The first purpose of this study was to describe the performance of a chronically injured population and compare it with known performances, particularly Matheson, Carlton and Niemeyer's (1989) sample. The second purpose was to determine how certain factors of a chronically injured population related to MVE outcome measures. Descriptive and correlative statistical analyses were applied to data collected from the chart records of 100 consecutive injury claimants (female n= 69, male n=31) who had undergone an FCE at a private rehabilitation clinic in the lower mainland region of British Columbia. The performances of the total, female, and male samples on the MVE test were analyzed according to peak grip strength and variability. Maximum Voluntary Effort test outcomes (dependent variable) were examined according to their relationship to 5 demographic and 5 diagnostic independent variables. Expected patterns of grip-strength performance were generally observed. A curvilinear relationship between strength and age was evident with mean grip strength scores peaking at the 31-36 years of age cohort for both genders. Male and dominant hand measures were slightly greater than female and non-dominant hand, respectively. Generally, grip-strength was substantially diminuted suggesting decreased physical strength and fatigue tolerance trends among the sample. Compared with Matheson et al's sample, median grip scores were similar but variance was generally greater by as much as 5.5%. Three of the 10 independent variables showed statistically significant relationships with MVE outcomes; 'occupation' (demographic variable, Chi Square= 13.562, df=5, p=.019), 'referral source' (diagnostic variable, Chi Square= 23.306, df=l, p=.000) and number of injury 'episodes' (diagnostic variable, Chi Square=27.600, df=2, p=.000). The relationship of depression, measured by the BDI, with MVE outcomes remained unclear as 16 subjects with positive MVEs had not completed the BDI.

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