BACKGROUND Several literature reviews have addressed the reliability of spinal and sacroiliac (SI) motion palpation (MP), finding that, in general, interexaminer reliability is slight and intraexaminer reliability is moderate. METHODS We performed a literature search of four biomedical databases to locate articles that dealt with MP of the spine or SI joints. The abstracts of the retrieved citations were independently screened for inclusion by two of the authors. The full-text of potentially includable articles was examined by the same two authors to assess whether they met all of the inclusion criteria. The validity of the included studies was evaluated using a 6-point scale. RESULTS The initial searches netted 415 citations; another 30 were harvested from the secondary search. Fifty-nine articles were removed as duplicates and 305 failed to meet the inclusion criteria. Another 33 were excluded because they did not adequately describe the method of analysis, used a combination of tests, were not actually MP studies, or were not reliability studies. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Summaries of 48 articles that dealt with the reliability of spinal and SI MP are presented. Where appropriate, we have commented on some of the methodological deficiencies that were discovered.
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