Allied Health Faculty Publications

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The Sport Journal



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Purpose: Musculoskeletal injuries in the United States Armed Forces impacts operational readiness. Therefore, a reliable, valid screening tool that identifies injury risk and predicts performance is needed. The purpose of this study was to: (1) establish the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the Movement Competency Screen (MCS) using a cohort of United States Naval Academy fourth class Midshipmen, (2) identify if a correlation exists between average total MCS scores and injury rates during training, and (3) identify if a correlation exists between 1/16 average total MCS score and performance on the Physical Readiness Test (PRT).

Methods: Five raters independently evaluated 41 digital recordings of subjects who performed the MCS. An intraclass correlation (ICC) of 0.9 (95% CI) was used to determine raters’ reliability and a Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient examined relationships between average initial total MCS score with both (1) injury data and (2) PRT scores.

Results: Raters demonstrated good inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.81-0.93), and moderate to good intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.63-0.89) for total MCS scores. The average total MCS scores did not correlate with the total number of injuries sustained. However, a moderate positive correlation (r = 0.48; p = 0.003) was observed between average total MCS score and overall PRT scores for all subjects. For only female subjects, a very strong correlation was observed between average total MCS score and (1) overall PRT scores (r = 0.83; p = 0.00), (2) increased number of push-ups (r = 0.76; p = 0.001), and (3) slower runtimes (r = – 0.84; p = 0.00). These relationships were non-significant for male subjects.

Conclusions: The high reliability reported is similar to Reid et al. 2015. The initial MCS score correlates with PRT performance for female subjects, but not males. However, the MCS score did not predict injury incidence in this cohort.

Practical Application: Given the high reliability, the MCS may be a useful screening tool for the U.S. Armed Forces to identify recruits with poor movement competency, likely impacting poor performance on the PRT. Future research will examine the relationship, if present, between total MCS score and injury risk in this cohort.


Reliability, mass screening, United States Armed Forces, military, movement competency, musculoskeletal injury, performance



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