Practicability of lower extremity functional performance tests and their measurement properties in elite athletes: protocol for a systematic review

Rosalyn Cooke, Alison Rushton, James Martin, Lee Herrington, Nicola R Heneghan

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INTRODUCTION: Lower extremity injury (LEI) is highly prevalent and its occurrence increases the risk of future injury in athletic populations. Identifying athletes at risk of injury is the key to target injury-prevention programmes. Functional performance tests (FPT) assess an athlete's ability to produce and accept forces during movement tasks reflective of those experienced in sport, and are used to identify deficits in physical qualities or neuromuscular control. This review aims to identify FPT which have potential to predict LEI and assess their measurement properties associated with reliability, validity, responsiveness and practicability (interpretability and feasibility).

METHODS/ANALYSIS: This protocol will be reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocol and the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments Methodology. The search strategy has two stages: stage 1 will identify lower limb FPT used in athletic populations; and stage 2 will assess the measurement properties of the identified FPT. A sensitive search strategy will use MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINHAL and SPORTdiscus databases; from inception to June 2020. Hand searching reference lists, key journals and grey literature will be completed. One reviewer will complete search 1 and data extraction. Two reviewers will complete the search, data extraction and risk-of-bias assessment for search 2. Evidence will be pooled or summarised by individual measurement property by each individual study and grouped by FPT. Meta-analysis using a random effects model with subgroup analysis will be performed where possible. Pooled or summarised results for each FPT in relation to each measurement property will be rated against the criteria for good measurement properties. Two reviewers will assess the overall body of evidence per measurement property per FPT using the modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation guidelines. This review will enable clinicians to make an informed choice when selecting FPT.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval is required for this review and the results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and submitted for conference presentation.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere042975
JournalBMJ open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2020


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