The purpose of this study was to examine the inter- and intratester reliability of lower extremity circumference measurements obtained by two testers using the same tape measure and two different tape measures. Twenty-one male high school student-athletes participated in this study. Two testers measured lower extremity circumference at three sites using a standard flexible tape measure and a Lufkin tape measure with a Gulick spring-loaded handle attachment. Measurement sites were medial joint line, 20 cm above medial joint line, and 15 cm below medial joint line. Intraclass correlation coefficients were computed for inter- and intratester comparisons for each measuring device and each measurement site. Results indicated high reliability but a significant difference between the two tape measures. These findings indicate that the reliability of lower extremity circumference measurements is not influenced by tester experience and that the Lufkin tape measure with the Gulick handle attachment is the more accurate of the two tape measures.
Gary L. Harrelson is with DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL, and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Deidre Leaver-Dunn is with the Athletic Training Education Program, University of Alabama. A. Louise Fincher is with Joe W. King Orthopedic Institute, Houston, TX. James D. Leeper is with the Department of Behavioral and Community Medicine, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Direct correspondence to Gary Harrelson, Educational Services and Technology, DCH Regional Medical Center, 809 University Blvd. E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.