The reliability and validity of a telehealth-instructed self-assessment of Inter-rectus Distance to diagnose Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
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Goebel, A.; Karmann, S.; Pray, S.; Reif, S.; Schutte, B. 2021. The reliability and validity of a telehealth-instructed self-assessment of Inter-rectus Distance to diagnose Diastasis Rectus Abdominis -- In Proceedings: 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
INTRODUCTION: Approximately 3.8 million women give birth every year in the U.S. Fifty-six percent of postpartum women indicate that pain interferes in daily activities. One cause of physical impairment is Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA), which is an overstretching and/or separation of the left and right rectus abdominis muscles from their attachments along the linea alba in the middle of the abdomen. DRA is prevalent in up to 83% of postpartum women and has been shown to cause decreased abdominal strength, pain in the pelvic girdle low back, or abdomen, and urinary incontinence. The gold-standard to measure IRD is real-time ultrasonography. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, assessments of IRD for diagnosing DRA relies on women's self-assessment guided by clinicians via telehealth. Yet, it is unclear if this self-palpation assessment of IRD, when conducted via telehealth, is reliable or valid. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine test-retest reliability and construct validity of self-palpation assessment of IRD via telehealth. METHODS: A methodological design will be used to test the null hypotheses: (a) there will not be a strong agreement between DRA diagnoses determined by self-palpation measurements of IRD via telehealth instructed by a physical therapist and those determined by ultrasonographic measurements with a κ < 0.6, and (b) there will not be a strong agreement between DRA determined by self-palpation measurements of IRD via telehealth-instructed visit and those determined by a physical therapist using the palpation method with a κ < 0.6. RESULTS: Results are pending and will be included in final abstract submission. CONCLUSION: There is a strong need for reliable methods of assessment with telehealth services. The results of this study will potentially provide physical therapists with a reliable alternative form of assessment of postpartum women through the use of telehealth services.
Presented to the 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held online, Wichita State University, April 2, 2021.
Research completed in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions