Reliability and Measurement Error of the Qualitative Analysis of Single Leg Loading (QASLS) Tool For Unilateral Tasks.

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Reliability and Measurement Error of the Qualitative Analysis of Single Leg Loading (QASLS) Tool For Unilateral Tasks.

Parry GN, Herrington LC, Munro AG.



Background: Movement quality assessment is popular within clinical and sporting practice, due to the contribution diminished or suboptimal movement quality is believed to have on musculoskeletal (MSK) injury risk. Various movement quality assessments exist, many are limited to bilateral or jumping movements evaluation. Qualitative analysis of single leg loading (QASLS) is a new clinical assessment tool for unilateral tasks that utilizes a dichotomous scoring system of ten questions relating to the segmental body regions of the trunk, lower and upper limb.

Purpose: To determine the intra and inter-rater, within- and between-session reliability of the QASLS tool during two unilateral movement tasks, and provide insight to measurement error and smallest detectable difference (SDD).

Study Design: Reliability Study

Methods: Fifteen healthy females (mean age 19 years SD2; height 167 cm, +/- 6; weight 56 kg, +/- 6) completed two unilateral tasks, single leg squat (SLS) and single leg landing (SLL), within session data collection occurred on the same day, with between session data collection occurring seven days later. Tasks were scored with the QASLS tool via video playback. Intra-Class correlation coefficients (ICCk,3) were used to measure within and between session reliability, and Kappa coefficients and percentage of exact agreement (PEA%) were used to determine intra and inter-rater reliability. Standard error of measurement (SEM) and the SDD for the compound score of each limb was calculated.

Results: Within session reliability of QASLS scores was good (ICC = 0.82-0.86) for SLS and moderate (ICC = 0.67-0.87) for SLL. Between session reliability was moderate (ICC = 0.69-0.87) for SLS and excellent (ICC = 0.92-0.93) for SLL. SEM was less than 1 point, and SDD for compound score ranging from 1.0-2.5 points. Intra-rater agreement of compound QASLS score was near perfect (k = 0.85-100; PEA% 90-100%) and agreement of individual components was substantial- near perfect (k = 0.13-0.74; PEA% 78-100%). Inter-rater agreement for compound QASLS scores ranged from non-substantial (k = 0.13-0.74; PEA% 43.3-90%) for SLS and non-slight (k =0.03-0.17; PEA% 43.3-60%) for SLL.

Conclusions: The QASLS movement analysis tool can be used to analyze movement quality during two unilateral loading tasks with moderate to excellent within and between session reliability. PEA% was acceptable for inter-rater agreement, however rater education training is recommended to develop more acceptable levels of reliability.

Level of Evidence: 3