“How reliable are the measurements between measurements and measurers with the TE3 Mobility Stick?” This is a question we get asked every now and then.
A Bachelor’s thesis The TE3 Mobility Stick as a Device for Measuring Thoracic Rotation: A Usability Review for the Clinical Work of a Physiotherapist addresses this. The study was made by Aleksi Asumalahti, Antony Benjamin and Lauri Pilvola in Tampere University of Applied Sciences Degree Programme in Physiotherapy.
The study was a usability review of the TE3 Mobility Stick as a physiotherapist’s assessment tool. It studied the repeatibility when measuring thoracic rotation with the TE3 Mobility Stick, both between different measurers and between measurements with same measurers.
According to the study, physiotherapy requires producing tangible evidence and basing chosen therapy procedures on their effectiveness. The effectiveness is based on reaching results that are based on goals that have been set. In evaluation of physiotherapy, numeric results are more accurate than visual when monitoring results. Monitoring concrete results and presenting them to the client can increase motivation in therapeutical exercising and speed up rehabilitation.
“The purpose of this study was to produce a usability review of the TE3 Mobility Stick as a physiotherapist’s assessment tool. The objective of this study was to evaluate the TE3 Mobility Stick as a device for measuring thoracic rotation in a clinical physiotherapy setting. The research questions of this study were to determine inter- and intra-rater reliability when measuring thoracic rotation with the TE3 Mobility Stick.
This study was conducted using quantitative methodology. In the research design of this study, two third-year physiotherapy students carried out thoracic rotation measurements, where both raters measured each test subject (n=8) twice over a two-day period using the TE3 Mobility Stick.
The design allowed evaluation of both inter- and intra-rater reliability which were rated using the Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The results suggest a high inter-rater reliability (ICC 0,875), and a high intra-rater reliability for both raters (ICC 0,769 and ICC 0,856).
The TE3 Mobility Stick is a reliable and easy to use option for traditional measuring devices, such as the goniometer, used by physiotherapists. Future studies should be conducted to evaluate the TE3 Mobility Stick as a universal range of motion measuring device in a clinical physiotherapy setting.”
The sample consisted of 8 participants, 4 male and 4 female. Their average age was 24,25 years and they were all healthy with no back operations done during the past year.
In the study, two measurers executed the same measurements on the same participants, which enabled evaluating the repeatibility between different users of the stick. In addition, the measurements were re-executed the following day to evaluate the repeatibility between measurements with the same user.
Results and conclusion
The results were analyzed with the IBM SPSS Statistics software using ICC (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient).
When comparing two test results measured by the same person (first and second measure time), both measurers received good ICC values, which indicates desirable inner reliability. Also, when comparing the results between two measurers, the ICC was desirable, which indicates high consistency between measurers.
Based on the results and their analysis, the study indicated that the TE3 Mobility Stick can be reliably used to measure thoracic rotation and receive consistent results both between measurements and different measurers.
Note, that the reliability of the study is limited due to the sample size.
In addition, the study evaluated the usability of the TE3 Mobility Stick.
It indicated that:
- The speed of using the stick helps physiotherapists conduct clinical work.
- Saving the results digitally frees the physiotherapist’s eyes and hands to guide motion and observate it.
- The compact size, portability and wireless features of the stick enable working outside clinical environment and does not attach the physiotherapist into a certain place.
- The full mobility test assortment enabled by the stick and the TE3 App unifies recording and saves time.