Clinical examination of pelvic insufficiency during pregnancy. An evaluation of the interobserver variation, the relation between clinical signs and pain and the relation between clinical signs and physical disability

Scand J Rheumatol. 1994;23(2):96-102. doi: 10.3109/03009749409103036.


The purpose of this study was to answer the following questions: Do clinical signs in pregnant women with pelvic pain differ from signs in those without pelvic pain? Is there variation between the test signs found by four observers? Are the clinical signs correlated to pain and physical disability? Twenty pregnant women with pelvic pain and 20 pregnant women without pelvic pain were participating. Each woman reported her own pain sensation and physical disability and each woman was examined by 4 physiotherapists independently. Sixty-one clinical tests were applied. Only 8 tests showed predominantly positive signs in the pain group. These tests showed agreement between different observers judged by a kappa coefficient > 0.40. The number of positive clinical signs was well correlated to the reported pain and physical disability. The value of an extensive examination of posture, muscles and joints on pregnant women with pelvic pain is dubious.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Pain / physiopathology
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rheumatology / methods