Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Paul E. Niemuth, PT, DSc, OCS, SCS, ATC


Background and Purpose:

Injuries resulting from athletic participation have been extensively researched in an attempt to identify causative factors. Lower extremity injuries account for the greatest proportion of athletic participation injuries. Traditional medically based pre-participation screening lacks a performance assessment from which to determine athletic preparedness. The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable functional screen in order to identify biomechanical faults in a female athletic population.


Twenty-two female subjects (25.05 + 3.88 years) were recruited from the St. Catherine University Doctor of Physical Therapy, class of 2011. Hand-held dynamometry was used to assess hip strength. The modified Star Excursion Balance Test (mSEBT) was used to assess single-leg balance. The Lower Extremity Functional Screen was developed based on clinical expertise and included the following tasks: double-leg squat (DLS), double-leg jump (DLJ), single-leg squat (SLS), single-leg hop (SLH), and a leap (LP). Each participant was videotaped performing the functional screen following a description and demonstration of each task. Recorded videotapes of all subjects were viewed and scored independently by five testers. The graded task was scored on a zero to three scale. Component scores were added to obtain a total possible score of 21 points with a higher score hypothesizing better leg mechanics and a lower risk of injury.


Inter-rater reliability for five raters was calculated using interclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Reliability for each task ranged from moderate to good (ICC=0.63-0.84): DLS=0.835; DLJ=0.691; right SLS=0.812; left SLS=0.802; right SLH=0.745; left SLH=0.627; LP=0.716. Reliability for the total score was also identified as good (ICC=0.88). Weak to moderate correlations were found between single-leg squat tasks and either hip abduction or hip external rotation strength (p=0.016-0.088).


These results indicate that the Lower Extremity Functional Screen developed for this study is a reliable tool. The data did not show a strong correlation between the functional screening tool, hip strength, and balance. This may suggest additional factors are involved beyond strength and balance during these functional tasks.