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Europa Medicophysica 2000 March;35(1):31-8


Internal consistency, reproducibility & reliability of S-EMG testing

Sella G. E.

Ohio Valley Disability Institute, Martins Ferry, Ohio, USA


BACKGROUND: This ­study test­ed the hypoth­e­sis ­that 22 S-EMG dynam­ic pro­to­cols, repeat­ed 3 ­times dur­ing one day on 5 sub­jects ­show ­good inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy, ­good ­test - re-­test repro­du­cibil­ity and the ­study ­results are reli­able ­when com­pared to the ­results of a ­large data­base.
METHODS: The inves­ti­ga­tion was a method­o­log­i­cal ­study of 22 S-EMG dynam­ic pro­to­cols encom­pass­ing the 10 ­major ­joints of the ­body. The dura­tion of ­each ­test was approx­i­mate­ly 30 min­utes. Each ­test was repeat­ed 3 ­times with­in an 8 ­hour day. Setting: the ­study was con­duct­ed in a pri­vate ­physician’s clin­ic. Participants: the ­study was con­duct­ed ­with 5 ­adult vol­un­teer sub­jects. None had any ­acute mus­cu­lar symp­tom. However, 4 / 5 had clin­i­cal his­to­ries ­which includ­ed mus­cu­lar dys­func­tion. Interventions: the S-EMG test­ing is not inva­sive. It did ­involve ­only move­ments per­formed at a min­i­mal­ly per­ceived lev­el of ­effort. None of the test­ing was per­ceived as fatigu­ing by the par­tic­i­pants. Measures: the sta­tis­ti­cal ­data gath­ered the fol­low­ing param­e­ters: activ­ity poten­tial aver­ag­es (x-), min­i­mal rest­ing poten­tial aver­ag­es (x-), stan­dard devi­a­tion ­over 5 rep­e­ti­tions of the ­same ­motion or ­rest (SD) and coef­fi­cients of vari­a­tion (CV) of the ­ratios of SD/x-for ­each ­motion. Statistics ­were gath­ered ­using the ­above param­e­ters ­with the ­scope of defin­ing the over­all inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy of the ­whole ­study (CV), nor­mal­iza­tion of the activ­ity and rest­ing poten­tials aver­ag­es by divi­sion by the aver­age val­ue for the ­group and pres­en­ta­tion in the ­form of per­cent­ag­es for bet­ter com­par­abil­ity, repro­du­cibil­ity var­i­ables ­based on the nor­mal­ized val­ues for ­inter & ­intra-indi­vid­u­al dif­fer­enc­es of test­ing ­over the 10 ­joints and repro­du­cibil­ity of the ­results ­over the 3 ­trials for rest­ing and ­motion poten­tials. Reliability of the ­data ­from the ­study was meas­ured by com­par­ing the activ­ity poten­tial val­ues ­with ­those ­obtained in a ­large data­base.
RESULTS: The over­all ­results indi­cat­ed the fol­low­ing: a) S-EMG 22 dynam­ic pro­to­cols involv­ing the 10 ­major ­joints, per­formed by 5 sub­jects ­with 3 rep­e­ti­tions in any giv­en test­ing day ­have a ­high ­degree of inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy, i.e. 96% in 94% of test­ing val­ues; b) S-EMG test­ing ­done in the ­above con­di­tions ­shows an over­all ­degree of ­test - re-­test repro­du­cibil­ity of £ 10%, wheth­er the var­i­ables of repeat­abil­ity are ­intra or ­inter-indi­vid­u­al, ­over 10 ­joints for activ­ity or rest­ing poten­tials and ­over 3 ­trials; c) S-EMG test­ing ­results ­from the ­present ­study ­show a ­degree of reli­abil­ity of 3% ­above the val­ues of sim­i­lar mus­cles ­found in a 198% larg­er data­base.
CONCLUSIONS: S-EMG dynam­ic pro­to­cols per­formed in the con­di­tions ­described ­above ­show a ­high ­degree of inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy, ­test - re-­test repro­du­cibil­ity and reli­abil­ity in com­par­i­son ­with ­results ­from a ­large data­base.

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