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29th November 2011

Construct Validity of Four Novel Upper Limb Functional Tests from The Performance Matrix

Raja H1, Comerford M2, Mottram S2, Morrissey D1, Rashid S1, Barton C1

1Centre for Sport & Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK; 2Movement Performance Solutions, Chichester UK

23rd to 26th November 2011

Click here for Poster Hassan Raja UKSEM Poster 2011



Historically screening for risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders has included joint ROM, strength and flexibility assessment. However, recently “functional” screening tests such as components from the ‘Performance Matrix’ have been proposed to be more valid screening tools. The aim of this study was to evaluate the construct validity of four upper limb functional tests from The Performance Matrix.


The four tests evaluated included two low load tests: ‘controlled shoulder internal twist’ (test 4) and ‘arm reach forward and back’ (test 5); and two high load tests: ‘plank and lateral twist’ (test 7) and ‘one arm wall push’ (test 8). Two of the five components from each test were assessed for their relationship with three-dimensional upper limb motion measured by the CODA MPX 30 system (Charnwood Dynamics, Rothley, UK). A whole body protocol was to develop using 50 markers; six 4-marker clusters on limbs and 13 duel marker driver boxes. Segments used for data analysis include: pelvis, spine and the upper limb. Specifically, vector angels which best simulated the movement being assessed were chosen in each given component, with comparison of vector angles between pass and fail groups made using Independent t-tests (95% confidence level).


Of the 8 components assessed 5 displayed significant differences in the percentage change of movement between pass and fail groups;


The results of this study suggest that visual observation is sufficient when groups passing and failing differ by significant amounts of movement, as demonstrated by the high load tests (Test 7 and 8).These functional tests in the Performance Matrix have a moderate amount of validity and can be used by healthcare professionals with confidence. The hypothesis that these screening tests prevent injury requires support in the form of a long term follow up study of injury prevalence amongst tested participants.

Author: Hassan Raja


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