The intra-session reliability in defining the extent and the location of pain during ULNT1: a study on healthy volunteers

Leoni, Diego and Heitz, Carolin and Capra, Gianpiero and Clijsen, Ron and Barbero, Marco (2014) The intra-session reliability in defining the extent and the location of pain during ULNT1: a study on healthy volunteers. The intra-session reliability in defining the extent and the location of pain during ULNT1: a study on healthy volunteers. The intra-session reliability in defining the extent and the location of pain during ULNT1: a study on healthy volunteers. In: ISEK 2014 Congress - XX Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, 15-18 Jul 2014, Roma, Italy.

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Abstract

AIM: Despite pain drawings (PDs) have been widely used in research and clinics, to our knowledge no studies explored the reliability of reporting the extent and the location of pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the intra-session reliability of healthy volunteers in reporting the extent and location of pain after the upper limb neurodynamic test 1 (ULNT1). METHODS: Forty-four healthy volunteers (29 female, 15 male) participated to the study. An electromagnetic device (Polhemus-G4) was used to control the joint position of the shoulder during the test. PDs were shaded with a stylus pen on an iPad®. A custom designed software was used to quantify the pain extent and analyze the pain overlap (Fig 1). The ULNT1 was performed twice, the first time stopping at pain onset (PO) and the second at submaximal pain (SP). After each test the volunteers shaded two consecutive PDs with an interval of one minute. The test re-test reliability of pain extent was examined using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots. Pain location reliability was investigated calculating the pain overlap and estimating the Jaccard similarity coefficient. RESULTS: The ICC values for PO and SP were 0.980 (95% CI: 0.963-0.989), and 0.976 (95% CI: 0.956-0.987) respectively. Values of the Bland-Altman plots are reported in Figure 2. The mean Jaccard similarity coefficient was 0.67±0.17 for PO, and 0.71±0.12 for SP. CONCLUSION: The intra-session reliability of healthy volunteers in reporting the extent of pain using the PDs is high. Good reliability values were found also for pain location. Further research could be useful to investigate the reliability of PDs in different patient populations.

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