(P100109)| Volume 25, SUPPLEMENT 2, S18-S19, November 2022

The use of physical function capacity measures in the management of lower limb tendinopathy: A scoping review of expert recommendations

      Introduction: hysical function capacity measures are recommended as outcomes in people with lower limb tendinopathy, however, a recent systematic review reported that they are rarely used. The purpose of this scoping review was to explore the measures of physical function capacity and the context in which they were used as recommended by experts in lower limb tendinopathy.
      Methods: Databases including Medline, Embase and CINAHL were searched using keywords related to lower limb tendinopathy and physical function capacity from inception to May 2022. Eligibility criteria included expert opinion papers, clinical commentaries, and narrative reviews that outlined a rehabilitation protocol. Systematic reviews and trials were excluded. Study selection was limited to sources which included a progressive exercise protocol for adults with lower limb tendinopathy. Following selection, a 15-item tool was used for data extraction, and data reported descriptively.
      Results: Of the 26 studies included, only 8 recommended a physical function capacity measure. There were 10 physical function capacity measures across three domains including: (i) strength (isometric strength, repetition maximum and two variations of the heel raise test), (ii) power (hop and jump tests), and (iii) balance (single leg stance). These measures were included in sources across a range of lower limb tendinopathies ((patellar (4/10), Achilles (1/10), proximal hamstring (1/10), gluteal (1/10), combined patellar and Achilles (1/10)). Most physical function capacity measures were recommended for Achilles or patellar tendinopathy (9/10), with hop and jump tests the most frequently included (5/10). Progression criteria were recorded in all 26/26 of studies. Pain was the most common criterion that was used to determine the progression of rehabilitation (25/26 studies) with physical function capacity measures used rarely as criterion (3/26 studies).
      Conclusion: Physical function capacity measures are infrequently documented and their use is inconsistent across a variety of expert recommended rehabilitation programs. This may be due to the limited evidence available to guide the appropriate use of measures and the interpretation of measures in the context of lower limb tendinopathy. Due to the limited use of measures, there is a need to develop tests of physical function capacity for patients with lower limb tendinopathy that can better guide functional improvements in addition to pain, to improve exercise rehabilitation outcomes.
      Impact/Application to the field:
      • Of the limited number of physical function capacity measures recommended by experts in lower limb tendinopathy, very few are used as progression criteria in exercise rehabilitation.
      • The hop and jump tests which are the most commonly recommended physical function capacity measures by experts require greater empirical evidence to justify their use in clinical practice.
      Conflict of interest statement: my co-authors and I acknowledge that we have no conflict interest of relevance to the submission of this abstract.