Methods to improve the reliability of the functional reach test in children and adolescents with typical development

Kathleen Gerri Volkman, Nicholas Stergiou, Wayne Stuberg, Daniel Blanke, Julie Stoner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Test-retest reliability of the Functional Reach Test was examined in children with typical development by comparing standard and alternate methods. METHODS: Eighty subjects ages seven to 16 years were tested and 69 retested for four methods of Functional Reach Test (ie, one-arm finger-to-finger, two-arm finger-to-finger, one-arm toe-to-finger, and two-arm toe-to-finger). Intraclass correlation coefficients and limits of agreement were calculated. RESULTS: Intraclass correlation coefficients were high in toe-to-finger measurement methods (0.97-0.98) for the entire group and specific age groups (00.83-0.93). Toe-to-finger methods were more reliable than finger-to-finger methods. The two-arm toe-to-finger method had the best limis of agreement with approximately ±5 cm indicated by the 95% confidence interval. CONCLUSIONS: Test-retest reliability using a toe-to-finger method of measuring is stronger than previously reported when using traditional methods. Limits of agreement analyses imply a change of 5 cm or more is likely to represent a true clinical difference when using the two-arm toe-to-finger method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Adolesent
  • Child
  • Measure
  • Musculoskeletal equilibrium
  • Posture/physiology
  • Reproducibility of results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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