Reliability and Association with Injury of Movement Screens: A Critical Review

Sports Med. 2016 Jun;46(6):763-81. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0453-1.


Subjective assessment of athletes' movement quality is widely used by physiotherapists and other applied practitioners within many sports. One of the beliefs driving this practice is that individuals who display 'poor' movement patterns are more likely to suffer an injury than those who do not. The aim of this review was to summarize the reliability of the movement screens currently documented within the scientific literature and explore the evidence surrounding their association with injury risk. Ten assessments with accompanying reliability data were identified through the literature search. Only two of these ten had any evidence directly related to injury risk. A number of methodological issues were present throughout the identified studies, including small sample sizes, lack of descriptive rater or participant information, ambiguous injury definitions, lack of exposure time reporting and risk of bias. These factors, combined with the paucity of research on this topic, make drawing conclusions as to the reliability and predictive ability of movement screens difficult. None of the movement screens that appear within the scientific literature currently have enough evidence to justify the tag of 'injury prediction tool'.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Humans
  • Movement*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time and Motion Studies