Objective and subjective measures to guide upper extremity return to sport testing: a modified Delphi survey

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  1. This study aimed to reach expert consensus on the objective and subjective measures clinicians should use for upper extremity return-to-sport (RTS) testing.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Following upper extremity (UE) injury, return-to-sport (RTS) decision-making should be based on both objective and subjective measures. These measures could include pain, range of motion, proprioception, physical performance (power, stability, function), and psychological readiness (1). However, many clinicians rely primarily on time to guide their decision-making (2). Previous authors have provided their expert opinion on UE RTS testing (3), but there remains a need for greater consensus on the subject.

The purpose of this survey study was to reach expert consensus on which objective and subjective measures clinicians should use for UE RTS testing.

Following upper extremity injury, return-to-sport decision-making should be based on both objective and subjective measures.
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The survey respondents also agreed that the testing battery should be specific to the demands of athletes’ sports.

METHODS

The authors began by compiling a list of UE RTS tests through a literature search. Then they conducted an iterative three-round modified Delphi survey with 99, 58, and 52 respondents, respectively, by round. The respondents had ≥10 years of experience

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