INTRA-RATER RELIABILITY OF THE MULTIPLE SINGLE-LEG HOP-STABILIZATION TEST AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH AGE, LEG DOMINANCE AND TRAINING.
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BACKGROUND: Balance is a complex construct, affected by multiple components such as strength and co-ordination. However, whilst assessing an athlete's dynamic balance is an important part of clinical examination, there is no gold standard measure. The multiple single-leg hop-stabilization test is a functional test which may offer a method of evaluating the dynamic attributes of balance, but it needs to show adequate intra-tester reliability. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the intra-rater reliability of a dynamic balance test, the multiple single-leg hop-stabilization test on the dominant and non-dominant legs. DESIGN: Intra-rater reliability study. METHODS: Fifteen active participants were tested twice with a 10-minute break between tests. The outcome measure was the multiple single-leg hop-stabilization test score, based on a clinically assessed numerical scoring system. Results were analysed using an Intraclass Correlations Coefficient (ICC2,1) and Bland-Altman plots. Regression analyses explored relationships between test scores, leg dominance, age and training (an alpha level of p = 0.05 was selected). RESULTS: ICCs for intra-rater reliability were 0.85 for the dominant and non-dominant legs (confidence intervals = 0.62-0.95 and 0.61-0.95 respectively). Bland-Altman plots showed scores within two standard deviations. A significant correlation was observed between the dominant and non-dominant leg on balance scores (R(2)=0.49, p<0.05), and better balance was associated with younger participants in their non-dominant leg (R(2)=0.28, p<0.05) and their dominant leg (R(2)=0.39, p<0.05), and a higher number of hours spent training for the non-dominant leg R(2)=0.37, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The multiple single-leg hop-stabilisation test demonstrated strong intra-tester reliability with active participants. Younger participants who trained more, have better balance scores. This test may be a useful measure for evaluating the dynamic attributes of balance. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3.
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