Matheson LN, Mooney V, Grant J, Affleck M, Hall H, Melles T, Lichter R, McIntosh G. A test to measure lift capacity of physically impaired adults: Part I. Development and reliability testing. Spine 1995;20(19): 2119-2129.
Two laboratory studies and one field study evaluated the safety and test-retest reliability of a new test of lift capacity. The first two studies were conducted in a carefully-controlled laboratory setting. The first study investigated the safety and intra-rater reliability of the Epic Lift Capacity (ELC) test protocol with healthy adult subjects. The second study assessed the safety and inter-rater reliability of the test with disabled subjects. The third study was conducted in the field with 65 evaluators and investigated the safety and intra-rater reliability of the test with healthy adult subjects.
Objectives of this study were to assess the safety and reliability of a new test of lift capacity. Standards for test development that have been provided by major professional associations require that the safety and reliability of a test be assessed before it can be used by healthcare professionals in a clinical setting.
Summary of Background Data
A new test of lift capacity has been developed. Test development occurred within the context of ergonomic standards and guidelines of the major professional associations and public agencies which govern test development in the United States.
In Study #1, 26 healthy subjects participated. In Study #2, 14 disabled subjects participated. In Study #3, 318 healthy subjects participated. After subjects underwent basic screening and warm-up, the EPIC Lift Capacity Test (ELC) was administered. One to two weeks later, the test was administered again. Correlations between the times of testing were calculated.
No subjects were injured. Next day hamstring soreness that resolved without complication was reported by some healthy subjects. None of the disabled subjects reported new symptoms. Reliability coefficients ranged from r = .82 to r = .95 in the laboratory studies and from r = .87 to r = .93 for all subjects in the field study. Intraclass correlations in the latter study ranged from ICC = .88 to ICC = .93.
The safety and reliability of the EPIC Lift Capacity Test was adequately demonstrated in a laboratory setting and across multiple field sites with evaluators who have varying types and degrees of professional preparation.
Evaluation of the lift capacity of persons with physical impairment is important but technically difficult. A new test has been designed to meet the current standards published by major professional associations and governmental agencies. The development of the test is described. The safety and reliability of the test is studied in a laboratory setting and is found to be acceptable. The safety and reliability of the test in use by 65 evaluators in various sites in the United States and Canada is studied and is found to be acceptable.