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Reliability of a Barre-Mounted Dynamometer-Stabilizing Device in Measuring Dance-Specific Muscle Performance

Melissa Strzelinski, Lori Thein Brody, Jo Armour Smith, Shaw Bronner
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 36 Number 1: Page 27 (March 2021)

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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hand-held dynamometry is considered an efficient, effective, and portable means of objectively measuring lower extremity strength; however, it has yet to be studied specific to dance-relevant muscle performance. Also, dynamometry is often criticized for variability in results based on tester strength and sex. Use of an external stabilizing device has been suggested to minimize differences in outcomes between male and female testers by reducing variability associated with tester strength limitations. Therefore, this study used a barre-mounted, portable dynamometer stabilizing device to improve consistency of results among different testers for assessing hip and lower extremity muscle performance in dance-relevant positions. OBJECTIVE: To assess the intra and inter-rater reliability of a barre-mounted dynamometer stabilizing device in measuring muscle performance in common dance maneuvers. METHODS: Two testers assessed muscle performance of three common dance maneuvers¿développé en avant, à la secondé, and arabesque¿on 11 pre-professional and professional dancers on two separate occasions to establish intra- and inter-rater reliability of the barre-mounted dynamometer stabilizing device. RESULTS: Intra-rater reliability was moderate to high and inter-rater reliability of the device was excellent, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.527-0.851 and 0.834-0.953, respectively, for all positions. CONCLUSIONS: The barre-mounted stabilizing device shows promise in mitigating tester strength or fatigue in assessing muscle performance of dancers. Initial assessment of the device suggests further study may be indicated to improve generalizability to applications of larger-scale muscle performance screening and assessment in dancers or other athletic populations who engage in movements that require extensive hip range of motion and multi-joint stability. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Using a portable, barre-mounted stabilizing device in assessing multi-joint lower extremity muscle performance in dancers improves consistency of testing results. Application of this testing device into wider scale screenings could assist in developing normative data for a population that is lacking.

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