Tactile acuity testing at the neck

A comparison of methods

Daniel S Harvie, Joan Kelly, Hayden Buckman, Jonathan Chan, Grace Sutherland, Mark Catley, James Novak, Neil Tuttle, Michele Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Interest in measurement of tactile acuity in musculoskeletal practice has emerged following its link to functional reorganization of the somatosensory cortex in ongoing pain states. Several tactile acuity measurement methods have been described but have not been thoroughly investigated in the cervical region.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined reliability, concurrent validity and responsiveness of four tests of tactile acuity-Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, Graphesthesia, and Localisation tests-at the cervical region.

METHOD: Forty-two healthy participants were included. In Part 1 (n = 22), participants' tactile acuity was assessed at two time points, 30 min apart, to determine the test-retest reliability and concurrent validity of each of the tests. In Part 2 (n = 20), participants received five daily tactile training sessions, delivered via a vibro-tactile device. Tactile acuity was assessed pre- and post-training to examine responsiveness of each test.

RESULTS: Two-point discrimination demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.85, SEM = 3.7 mm), Point-to-point and Localisation tests demonstrated good reliability (ICC = 0.60, SEM = 2.8 mm; ICC = 0.60, SEM = 8.8%), and Graphesthesia demonstrated fair reliability (ICC = 0.48, SEM = 1.9/20). There was no significant correlation among measures. Only Graphesthesia failed to show responsiveness to change following training.

CONCLUSION: The reliability of Two-point discrimination appears superior to other examined tests of tactile acuity, however measurement variability should be considered. Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, and Localisation tests appear responsive to change, although testing in clinical samples is needed. The lack of concurrent validity among tests suggests that they cannot be used interchangeably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Touch
Neck
Reproducibility of Results
Somatosensory Cortex
Healthy Volunteers
Pain
Equipment and Supplies

Cite this

Harvie, D. S., Kelly, J., Buckman, H., Chan, J., Sutherland, G., Catley, M., ... Sterling, M. (2017). Tactile acuity testing at the neck: A comparison of methods. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 32, 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2017.07.007
Harvie, Daniel S ; Kelly, Joan ; Buckman, Hayden ; Chan, Jonathan ; Sutherland, Grace ; Catley, Mark ; Novak, James ; Tuttle, Neil ; Sterling, Michele. / Tactile acuity testing at the neck : A comparison of methods. In: Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. 2017 ; Vol. 32. pp. 23-30.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Interest in measurement of tactile acuity in musculoskeletal practice has emerged following its link to functional reorganization of the somatosensory cortex in ongoing pain states. Several tactile acuity measurement methods have been described but have not been thoroughly investigated in the cervical region.OBJECTIVE: This study examined reliability, concurrent validity and responsiveness of four tests of tactile acuity-Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, Graphesthesia, and Localisation tests-at the cervical region.METHOD: Forty-two healthy participants were included. In Part 1 (n = 22), participants' tactile acuity was assessed at two time points, 30 min apart, to determine the test-retest reliability and concurrent validity of each of the tests. In Part 2 (n = 20), participants received five daily tactile training sessions, delivered via a vibro-tactile device. Tactile acuity was assessed pre- and post-training to examine responsiveness of each test.RESULTS: Two-point discrimination demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.85, SEM = 3.7 mm), Point-to-point and Localisation tests demonstrated good reliability (ICC = 0.60, SEM = 2.8 mm; ICC = 0.60, SEM = 8.8{\%}), and Graphesthesia demonstrated fair reliability (ICC = 0.48, SEM = 1.9/20). There was no significant correlation among measures. Only Graphesthesia failed to show responsiveness to change following training.CONCLUSION: The reliability of Two-point discrimination appears superior to other examined tests of tactile acuity, however measurement variability should be considered. Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, and Localisation tests appear responsive to change, although testing in clinical samples is needed. The lack of concurrent validity among tests suggests that they cannot be used interchangeably.",
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Harvie, DS, Kelly, J, Buckman, H, Chan, J, Sutherland, G, Catley, M, Novak, J, Tuttle, N & Sterling, M 2017, 'Tactile acuity testing at the neck: A comparison of methods', Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, vol. 32, pp. 23-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2017.07.007

Tactile acuity testing at the neck : A comparison of methods. / Harvie, Daniel S; Kelly, Joan; Buckman, Hayden; Chan, Jonathan; Sutherland, Grace; Catley, Mark; Novak, James; Tuttle, Neil; Sterling, Michele.

In: Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, Vol. 32, 12.2017, p. 23-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Tactile acuity testing at the neck

T2 - A comparison of methods

AU - Harvie, Daniel S

AU - Kelly, Joan

AU - Buckman, Hayden

AU - Chan, Jonathan

AU - Sutherland, Grace

AU - Catley, Mark

AU - Novak, James

AU - Tuttle, Neil

AU - Sterling, Michele

N1 - Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PY - 2017/12

Y1 - 2017/12

N2 - BACKGROUND: Interest in measurement of tactile acuity in musculoskeletal practice has emerged following its link to functional reorganization of the somatosensory cortex in ongoing pain states. Several tactile acuity measurement methods have been described but have not been thoroughly investigated in the cervical region.OBJECTIVE: This study examined reliability, concurrent validity and responsiveness of four tests of tactile acuity-Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, Graphesthesia, and Localisation tests-at the cervical region.METHOD: Forty-two healthy participants were included. In Part 1 (n = 22), participants' tactile acuity was assessed at two time points, 30 min apart, to determine the test-retest reliability and concurrent validity of each of the tests. In Part 2 (n = 20), participants received five daily tactile training sessions, delivered via a vibro-tactile device. Tactile acuity was assessed pre- and post-training to examine responsiveness of each test.RESULTS: Two-point discrimination demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.85, SEM = 3.7 mm), Point-to-point and Localisation tests demonstrated good reliability (ICC = 0.60, SEM = 2.8 mm; ICC = 0.60, SEM = 8.8%), and Graphesthesia demonstrated fair reliability (ICC = 0.48, SEM = 1.9/20). There was no significant correlation among measures. Only Graphesthesia failed to show responsiveness to change following training.CONCLUSION: The reliability of Two-point discrimination appears superior to other examined tests of tactile acuity, however measurement variability should be considered. Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, and Localisation tests appear responsive to change, although testing in clinical samples is needed. The lack of concurrent validity among tests suggests that they cannot be used interchangeably.

AB - BACKGROUND: Interest in measurement of tactile acuity in musculoskeletal practice has emerged following its link to functional reorganization of the somatosensory cortex in ongoing pain states. Several tactile acuity measurement methods have been described but have not been thoroughly investigated in the cervical region.OBJECTIVE: This study examined reliability, concurrent validity and responsiveness of four tests of tactile acuity-Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, Graphesthesia, and Localisation tests-at the cervical region.METHOD: Forty-two healthy participants were included. In Part 1 (n = 22), participants' tactile acuity was assessed at two time points, 30 min apart, to determine the test-retest reliability and concurrent validity of each of the tests. In Part 2 (n = 20), participants received five daily tactile training sessions, delivered via a vibro-tactile device. Tactile acuity was assessed pre- and post-training to examine responsiveness of each test.RESULTS: Two-point discrimination demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.85, SEM = 3.7 mm), Point-to-point and Localisation tests demonstrated good reliability (ICC = 0.60, SEM = 2.8 mm; ICC = 0.60, SEM = 8.8%), and Graphesthesia demonstrated fair reliability (ICC = 0.48, SEM = 1.9/20). There was no significant correlation among measures. Only Graphesthesia failed to show responsiveness to change following training.CONCLUSION: The reliability of Two-point discrimination appears superior to other examined tests of tactile acuity, however measurement variability should be considered. Two-point discrimination, Point-to-point, and Localisation tests appear responsive to change, although testing in clinical samples is needed. The lack of concurrent validity among tests suggests that they cannot be used interchangeably.

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Harvie DS, Kelly J, Buckman H, Chan J, Sutherland G, Catley M et al. Tactile acuity testing at the neck: A comparison of methods. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. 2017 Dec;32:23-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2017.07.007