BackgroundThe incidence of proximal humeral fractures (PHF) increased by more than 30% over the last decade, which is accompanied by an increased number of operations. However, the evidence on operative vs. non-operative treatment and post-operative treatments is limited and mostly based on expert opinion. It is mandatory to objectively assess functional capacity to compare different treatments. Clinical tools should be valid, reliable and sensitive to change assessing functional capacity after PHFs. This study aimed to analyse inter-rater reliability of the videotaped Wolf-Motor-Function-Test-Orthopaedic (WMFT-O) and the association between the clinical WMFT-O and the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) and to determine the sensitivity to change of the WMFT-O and the DASH to measure functional capacity before and after rehabilitation in PHF patients.MethodsFifty-six patients (61.714.7years) after surgical treatment of PHF were assessed using the WMFT-O at two different time points. To determine inter-rater reliability, the videotaped WMFT-O was evaluated through three blinded raters. Inter-rater agreement was determined by Fleissxxx Kappa statistics. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the association between the clinical WMFT-O and the video rating as well as the DASH. Sensitivity to change and responsiveness were analysed for the WMFT-O and the DASH in a subsample of forty patients (53.81.4years) who were assessed before and after a three week robotic-assisted training intervention.ResultsInter-rater agreement was indicated by Fleissxxx Kappa values ranging from 0.33-0.66 for functional capacity and from 0.27-0.54 for quality of movement. The correlation between the clinical WMFT-O and the video rating was higher than 0.77. The correlation between the clinical WMFT-O and the DASH was weak.Sensitivity to change was high for the WMFT-O and the DASH and responsiveness was given. In comparison to the DASH, the sensitivity to change of the WMFT-O was higher.Conclusion The overall results indicate that the WMFT-O is a reliable, sensitive and responsive instrument to measure more objectively functional change over time in rehabilitation after PHF. Furthermore, it has been shown that video assessment is eligible for studies to ensure a full blinding of raters.Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03100201. Registered on 28 March 2017. The trial was retrospectively registered.
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