The reliability of shoulder range of motion measures in competitive swimmers Academic Article uri icon


  • Investigate reliability of shoulder internal and external rotation (IR, ER), abduction in internal rotation (ABIR) and combined elevation (CE) range of motion tests in competitive swimmers.Within participants, inter- and intra-examiner reliability.Physiotherapy Department, University of Melbourne, Australia.17 competitive swimmers (aged 12-24 years) who participate in at least 5 weekly swimming sessions and two physiotherapy examiners.Inter- and intra-examiner reliability of IR, ER, ABIR and CE.Good to excellent intra-examiner reliability across tests (ICCs: 0.85-0.96) with standard error of measurement (SEM)and minimal detectable change at 90% confidence interval (MDC90) ranging from 2 to 5, and 5-12°, respectively. Good to excellent inter-examiner reliability for all tests (ICCs: 0.77-0.94) except left IR (ICC: 0.65). Inter-examiner SEM and MDC90 ranged from 2 to 5° and 5-12°, respectively.Shoulder range of motion tests were reliable when applied by the same examiner. Inter-examiner reliability was acceptable for all tests except IR, which was affected by inconsistent manual scapula stabilisation between examiners.

publication date

  • 2016