The Concept Of Reliability Within Measurement

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The concept of reliability within measurement is often debated amongst health professionals, as it is crucial to the recording of physiological improvements in active and passive range of motion (ROM). In particular, different techniques such as observation, goniometry and inclinometry are utilised in clinical settings to determine the ROM for elbow extension. It is noted that, reliable methods are fundamental for providing quantitative relationships and an understanding of musculoskeletal impairments.
Often overlooked, reliability is essential for the recognition and consequently the diagnosis of abnormal elbow extension within physiotherapy. In particular, the diagnosis of impairments and diseases such as septic arthritis, ulnar nerve entrapment, (Philippou, Maridaki & Bogdanis, 2003) osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (Bucala, 2011) affect a patient’s elbow extension. Thus, measurement methods during diagnosis must be accurate and reliable. In regards to patient progress, the effectiveness of treatments can be recorded quantitatively with measurement. Thus, it follows that a lack in reliability would dramatically compromise the integrity of elbow extension measurements. It is argued that all measurements must be reliable to ensure accuracy and the best possible care for patients.
Considered a worldwide detriment, particularly in the elderly, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the most common reasons for seeking treatment with a musculoskeletal
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