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Does tester experience affect the reliability of multisegment foot kinematics?

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In recent times; multi-segment foot models have been developed and implemented, which have served to advance our knowledge of foot function during gait. This study examined differences in multi segment foot kinematics both between and within experimenters with three different levels of experience in multi segment foot marker placement. Twelve male participants walked across a 22 m laboratory at 1.25 m. s-1. Three experimenters (experienced, intermediate and novice) positioned multi-segment foot markers on two occasions. Differences in 3D foot articulations both between and within experimenters were examined using mixed ANOVA's. The within experimenter reliability of the kinematic waveforms were further analysed using intraclass correlations. The results show that significant differences in discrete parameters were observed in the transverse plane between experimenters and also within experimenters in the sagittal, coronal and transverse planes for the novice practitioner. Furthermore, the results also showed that the experienced experimenter was associated with the highest levels of reliability in marker placement. This suggests that it may be prudent for multi-segment foot kinematics to be conducted using experienced practitioners and for analyses to state the experience level of the researchers conducting the anatomical marker placement.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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