Objective: To determine the reliability and validity of ankle proprioceptive measures.
Design: Reliability was assessed between test occasions. Construct validity was addressed by the ability of measures to differentiate among groups.
Setting: Laboratory of an educational institution.
Participants: Eight healthy adults were recruited into each of 3 groups: (1) young (20-39y), (2) middle-aged (40-59y), and (3) older adults (>or=60y). Four subjects from each group (n=12) participated in retesting.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Threshold for perception of passive movement, error in active reproduction of position, error in reproduction of velocity, and error in reproduction of torque.
Results: Intersession reliability was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] range, .79 - .95) for threshold for perception of movement, error in active reproduction, error in velocity reproduction, and error in dorsiflexion torque reproduction; intersession reliability was good for error in reproduction of plantarflexion torque (ICC=.72). Threshold for perception of movement differed between groups 1 and 3 and between groups 2 and 3 (P<.05). Error in reproduction of position was greater in group 2 than in group 1 (P<.05).
Conclusion: Differences in proprioception between the older and the 2 younger groups were best detected by using threshold for perception of passive movement.