Content » Vol 39, Issue 2

Original report

Test-retest reliability of psychophysical lift capacity in patients with non-specific chronic low back pain and healthy subjects

Audy P. Hodselmans, Pieter U. Dijkstra, Cees van der Schans and Jan H. B. Geertzen
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0014


Objective: Psychophysical lift capacity tests are lifting tests in which the performance, expressed in Newtons, is divided by the perceived exertion, expressed on a Borg scale. The aim of this study was to analyse test-retest reliability of psycho­physical lift capacity tests.
Subjects: Patients with non-specific chronic low back pain (n=20) and healthy subjects (n=20).
Methods: Psychophysical lift capacity tests were assessed during a back school intake at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the University Medical Centre Groningen. Patients on the waiting list and healthy subjects were assessed twice, with a 2-week interval between assessments. Intra-class correlation (ICC) was calculated as a measure of reliability. An ICC ≥0.75 was considered as an acceptable reliability. Limits of agree­ment as a measure for natural variation were calculated.
Results: The psychophysical static and dynamic lift capacity tests showed good reliability (ICC ≥0.75). The limits of agreement are substantial, indicating a considerable natural varia­tion between test-sessions for all psychophysical tests.
Conclusion: The psychophysical static lift capacity and dyna­mic lifting capacity are reliable instruments for patients with non-specific chronic low back pain and healthy subjects. How­ever, a substantial amount of natural variation should be taken into account between 2 test sessions when interpreting the test results clinically.

Lay Abstract


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.