PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE TESTS FOR PEOPLE WITH LONG-TERM SPINAL PAIN: ASPECTS OF CONSTRUCT VALIDITY
Therese Ljungquist A1, Irene B. Jensen A2, Åke Nygren A2, Karin Harms-Ringdahl A3
A1 Neurotec Department, Division of Physiotherapy and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Section for Personal Injury Prevention, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
A2 Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Section for Personal Injury Prevention, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
A3 Neurotec Department, Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the construct validity of 6 physical performance tests that had already been shown to have acceptable repeatability. Design: Data were collected in a randomized controlled multi-centre study. Subjects: 126 women and 105 men sick-listed for spinal pain carried out the tests and provided personal and background data at inclusion in the study. Methods: One test measured stepping up onto and down from a stool, 2 measured lifting ability and 3 walking speed. Construct validity was examined by analysing the influence of some variables on test performance. Results: High-rated pain behaviour and perceived high pain intensity during testing or during the previous 4 weeks were connected with low test performance. Exercise twice a week was connected with high test performance. The test with the highest ability to detect disability in the women with lumbar pain was a lumbar lifting test, while for the men, it was a cervical lifting test. The test with the highest ability to detect disability in the participants with neck pain was the cervical lifting test in addition to a gait test with burden for the women. Conclusion: Back pain hampered the test performance more than neck pain. Impairments and activity limitations expressed by the patient should guide the choice of test.