A reliability study of measurement techniques to determine static scapular position

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1995 Feb;21(2):100-6. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1995.21.2.100.


Current shoulder rehabilitation programs encourage scapular stabilization components although, to date, no scientific studies have evaluated changes in scapular position following such rehabilitation. Four different measurement methods of scapular position have been reported in the literature. The purpose of this study was to examine the intratester and intertester reliability of these four methods and to also examine if significant differences exist in scapular position between dominant and nondominant extremities. Thirty-two subjects volunteered for this study. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) revealed acceptable intratester reliability (ICC = 0.81-0.95) for all measurement methods. However, while one method also proved to be acceptable (ICC = 0.91-.92) for intertester measurements, the other three methods were unacceptable (ICC = 0.18-0.69). One tester reported significant differences in scapular position of the dominant and nondominant extremities when using the most reliable method. The second tester found no significant differences with either method. Future research is recommended to reexamine reliability of these methods and measure subjects with shoulder pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scapula / anatomy & histology*
  • Scapula / physiology