Objective: (1) To determine the interrater reliability and measurement error of an 11-step stair ascend/descend test (STTotal-11) and stair up (ascend) test (STUp-11); (2) to seek evidence for the STTotal-11 and STUp-11 as valid measures of physical function by determining if they relate to measures of physical function and do not relate to measures not of physical function; and (3) to explore if the STTotal-11 and STUp-11 scores relate to lower-extremity muscle weakness and knee range of motion (ROM) in subjects with total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Academic center.
Participants: Subjects (N=43, 30 women; mean age, 68+/-8y) with unilateral TKA.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: STTotal-11 and STUp-11 were performed twice, and scores were compared with scores on 4 lower extremity performance-based tasks, 2 patient-reported questionnaires of physical function, 3 psychologic factors, knee ROM, and strength of quadriceps, hip extensors, and abductors.
Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient was .94 for both the STTotal-11 and STUp-11, standard error of measurements were 1.14 seconds and .82 seconds, and minimum detectable change associated with 90% confidence interval was 2.6 seconds and 1.9 seconds, respectively. Correlations between stair tests and performance-based measures and knee and hip muscle strength ranged from Pearson correlation coefficient (r)=.40 to .78. STTotal-11 and STUp-11 had a small correlation with one of the patient-reported measures of physical function. Stair tests were not associated with psychologic factors and knee extension ROM and were associated with knee flexion ROM.
Conclusions: STTotal-11 and STUp-11 have good interrater reliability and minimum detectable changes adequate for clinical use. The pattern of associations supports the validity of the stair tests in TKA.
Copyright 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.