Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: Previous trials have failed to clearly define interrater reliability for the tape measurement method (TMM) when used by therapists in general. The present trial evaluates whether experience is a significant factor when using the TMM to assess a leg length discrepancy (LLD). It also evaluates the reliability of 2 bony landmarks used as reference points during measurement, the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) to medial malleoulus (MM) and ASIS to the lateral malleoulus (LM).

Subjects: 5 healthy physical therapy students conveniently selected from 100 with a range of 25-37 years of age.

Method: 5 experts, with ≥ 10 years experience and 5 novices with < 1 year experience measured the legs of 5 subjects with the TMM, in supine using the ASIS-MM and ASIS-LM landmarks.

Results: Using Model (2,1) of the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC), for the ASIS-LM, very poor reliability was found with significant variability for novices, ICC=0.172, p=0.03 and poor reliability for experts, ICC=0.348, p>.05. For ASIS-MM, poor reliability was found for novices, ICC=0.209 and fair reliability for experts ICC=0.582 with p>.05 for both groups.

Conclusions: Experience does make a difference. Thus, the TMM is operator dependent and the ASIS-MM yields higher reliability than ASIS-LM.


Physical Therapy

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