Efficacy of functional movement screening for predicting injuries in coast guard cadets

J Strength Cond Res. 2015 May;29(5):1157-62. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000704.


Functional movement screening (FMS) examines the ability of individuals to perform highly specific movements with the aim of identifying individuals who have functional limitations or asymmetries. It is assumed that individuals who can more effectively accomplish the required movements have a lower injury risk. This study determined the ability of FMS to predict injuries in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) cadets. Seven hundred seventy male and 275 female USCG freshman cadets were administered the 7 FMS tests before the physically intense 8-week Summer Warfare Annual Basic (SWAB) training. Physical training-related injuries were recorded during SWAB training. Cumulative injury incidence was calculated at various FMS cutpoint scores. The ability of the FMS total score to predict injuries was examined by calculating sensitivity and specificity. Determination of the FMS cutpoint that maximized specificity and sensitivity was determined from the Youden's index (sensitivity + specificity - 1). For men, FMS scores ≤ 12 were associated with higher injury risk than scores >12; for women, FMS scores ≤ 15 were associated with higher injury risk than scores >15. The Youden's Index indicated that the optimal FMS cutpoint was ≤ 11 for men (22% sensitivity, 87% specificity) and ≤ 14 for women (60% sensitivity, 61% specificity). Functional movement screening demonstrated moderate prognostic accuracy for determining injury risk among female Coast Guard cadets but relatively low accuracy among male cadets. Attempting to predict injury risk based on the FMS test seems to have some limited promise based on the present and past investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Naval Medicine
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / adverse effects*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Young Adult