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Effect Of Instructions To Simulate A Back Injury On Torque Reproducibility In An Isometric Lumbar Extension Task

M. Robinson, P. O'connor, M. Macmillan, A. Fuller, J. Cassisi
Published 2005 · Psychology, Medicine

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in test-retest reliability between maximal and “simulated back injury” efforts in an isometric lumbar extension task and to test the hypothesis that voluntary attempts to “simulate” a back injury would yield less consistent torque production than maximal efforts. Twenty subjects were asked to undergo lumbar extensor testing at seven different positions in a lumbar extension machine. Each subject was tested twice in a maximal effort condition and twice with instructions to “simulate” a back injury. The order of the conditions was counterbalanced across subjects so that half of the subjects performed the maximal effort tests first and half performed the “simulated” effort first. Results indicated high test-retest correlations at all angles in both conditions. There were no differences in test-retest reliability between effort conditions. Therapist ratings of consistency did not differ between conditions and therapists could not discriminate between conditions on the basis of effort consistency. In the “simulated” condition subjects produced reliable, submaximal torque plots consistent with previous data indicating similar reliability at submaximal levels. It was concluded that use of test-retest torque consistency as a measure of sincerity of effort is premature and may be misleading.
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