Statistical assessment of cervical spine and shoulder range of motion.
Measuring range of motion (for example, of the cervical spine or shoulder) is a common feature in
the diagnosis and longitudinal assessment of many medical conditions. Current clinical methods,
however, cannot measure combinations of movement or velocity of movement. A new threedimensional
measuring system, the FASTRAK, can measure range of motion in the primary plane
of movement and also in secondary planes of movement. Further, it can measure concurrent threedimensional
movement of the body elsewhere; for example, of the trunk.
In order for a measured change in range of motion to be confidently perceived as real change, the
measuring tool has to be shown to be reliable. This study commences by performing systematic
reviews assessing the evidence for the reliability of current cervical spine and shoulder range of
motion measuring tools.
The reliability of the FASTRAK in measuring cervical spine and shoulder range of motion is then
assessed on healthy subjects with unrestricted neck and shoulder movement. The methodology
and analysis provides a framework for future reliability studies of this nature.
Range of motion is often limited in subjects with diagnosed ankylosing spondylitis (AS). To assess
the ability of the FASTRAK to differentiate between a non-diseased population and subjects with
AS, and between different severities of AS, the FASTRAK is applied to a sample of AS subjects in
a longitudinal study.
Pictures of movement are built up and compared, using a novel application of repeated measures
multilevel modelling, for both healthy and AS subjects. The use of multilevel modelling to build
these pictures of movement is evaluated.
Clinical validation of the models and the usefulness and acceptability of the FASTRAK in a clinical
setting is assessed through the process of semi-structured interviews with clinicians from the
disciplines most likely to make range of motion measurements in clinical practice.