The Validity and Reliability of Assessments Through Telemedicine: An Evidence-to-Practice Review
Keywords:Healthcare Information Technology, Diagnostic Testing and Physical Examination: Lower Extremity
The validity and reliability of telemedicine assessments has been explored through numerous studies. Telemedicine is a diagnostic tool that combines visual technology, audio technology, and tools for assessment. The assessment of musculoskeletal disorders is a key portion in the field of athletic training. The development of telemedicine assessment tools has improved over time but has not yet been perfected. Data was collected via four databases that included articles examining validity, inter- and intra- rater reliability, and telemedicine assessment for musculoskeletal tests. The reviews of the systematic review used Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) and quality appraisal tool for studies of diagnostic reliability (QAREL) to assess the quality of the selected articles. The results from the guiding systematic review revealed good concurrent validity and great reliability for range of motion (ROM), muscle strength, pain, and gait assessments. However, it revealed low to moderate concurrent validity for assessments such as orthopedic special tests and assessments of neurological disorders. Based on these findings, the recommendations for telemedicine include the need to create a standardized measure to ensure consistency between both inter- and intra- raters and a need for advancement in technology for the enhancement of diagnostic accuracy in patients with musculoskeletal disorders. It is feasible for athletic trainers to incorporate telemedicine into their clinical practices, while increasing their technological skills of assessment to continue improving patient-centered care.
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