Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background: Patients with subacute unilateral lateral ankle sprain commonly experience pain and limited range of motion (ROM). Measurement reliability should be investigated before assessing treatment effectiveness. Objective: To determine both intra-rater and inter-rater reliability and minimal detectable change (MDC) of visual analog scale (VAS) and digital goniometer in patients with subacute unilateral lateral ankle sprain. Methods: Ten subjects (7 men, 3 women; aged 29.90  12.81 years) with subacute unilateral lateral ankle sprain were recruited. Two investigators measured pain intensity and ROM using VAS and a digital goniometer, respectively, with a 30-minute break between measurements. The same protocol was repeated on the next day. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability measurements were analyzed to determine intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Results: Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of VAS showed excellent reliability (ICC ranged from 0.97 to 0.99), whereas ankle and subtalar joint ROM showed good to excellent reliability (ICC ranged from 0.76 to 0.97). The MDC of VAS was 5.49 mm, while MDC of the ankle and subtalar joint ROMs ranged from 2.97º to 7.97º, respectively. Conclusion: In individuals with subacute unilateral lateral ankle sprain, the VAS and digital goniometer demonstrated good to excellent reliability in pain intensity and ankle and subtalar joint ROM. Preliminary MDC data can be used to assess treatment efficacy.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

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