Reliability and validity of clinically assessing first-ray mobility of the foot

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2004 Sep-Oct;94(5):470-6. doi: 10.7547/0940470.


The objective of the present study was to determine the amount of agreement among three clinicians in the clinical assessment of dorsal mobility of the foot's first ray and the agreement between their assessments and that of a mechanical device designed to quantify first-ray mobility. Sixty feet from 30 individuals evaluated clinically by three health-care professionals were classified as having a hypomobile, normal, or hypermobile first ray. The amount of first-ray dorsal mobility of each participant's foot was then measured using a device specifically constructed for that purpose. The results of this study show generally poor agreement among the three clinicians on whether a foot should be classified as having hypomobility, hypermobility, or normal mobility of the first ray. The amount of agreement with the quantitative device was poor for two of the clinicians and moderate for the third clinician.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Metatarsal Bones / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / instrumentation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / standards
  • Podiatry / instrumentation
  • Podiatry / methods
  • Podiatry / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results