PainSci notes on Cornwall 2004:
This is one of those fun studies that catches clinicians in their inability to come up with the same assessment of a structural problem. Three doctors were asked to “rate forefoot alignment,” but they didn’t agree. From the abstract: “ … the commonplace method of visually rating forefoot frontal plane deformities is unreliable and of questionable clinical value.”
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the interrater reliability of visual rating of forefoot frontal plane deformities among clinicians with different training.
METHODS: Thirty individuals (16 men and 14 women) between the ages of 22 and 52 years of age participated in the study. None of the patients had a history of congenital deformity, pain, or trauma in the lower extremities during the 6 months before the study. Three clinicians of different educational backgrounds and experience visually evaluated each of the patients and rated forefoot alignment. None of the clinicians knew the rating assigned by either of the other two clinicians.
RESULTS: The results of this study showed that two of the clinical raters agreed 61.7% of the time, but neither of them agreed with the third clinician more than 15% of the time.
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that the commonplace method of visually rating forefoot frontal plane deformities is unreliable and of questionable clinical value.
- “Interrater reliability: the kappa statistic,” Mary L McHugh, Biochem Med (Zagreb), 2012.
- “The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data,” J R Landis and G G Koch, Biometrics, 1977.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.