Reliability study done (Abstract accepted KCMACP conference 2009)

Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly musculoskeletal disorder (Hansson, Ihlebæk et al. 2006), requiring consideration of multiple factors including lumbar posture and
movement patterns (Dankaerts, O'Sullivan et al. 2006). Most LBP research has been done using complex and time-consuming laboratory-based motion analysis systems (Dankaerts, O'Sullivan et al. 2006), which do not allow analysis outside the laboratory e.g. in occupational settings. The Sels Posture Monitoring Device (SPMD) monitor is capable of monitoring spinal posture in real-time via wireless technology. This study examined the reliability (intra-rater and inter-rater) of this novel monitor for measuring spinal posture during two commonly provocative tasks in subjects with LBP.

Methods: 20 healthy subjects participated in the study. The reliability of two tasks (usual sitting posture, and forward bending) was examined using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland and Altman methods.

Results: Intra-rater reliability was excellent for both tasks (ICC =0.837 ? 0.874, with low mean differences). Similarly inter-rater reliability was excellent for both tasks (ICC =0.914 ? 0.940, with low mean differences).

Discussion: This novel wireless posture monitor appears to be a reliable method for measuring lumbar posture and movement patterns. This non-invasive device may have significant clinical utility for assessing and providing feedback on spinal postures and movement patterns in occupational environments. Further research is required to investigate the validity of this new monitor, and it's application in clinical trials.