Normative values of cervical range of motion for both children and adults: A systematic review

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Study design: Systematic review. Objective: To synthesize studies reporting normative values of active cervical range of motion (ROM) in healthy children and adults. Summary of background data: Evaluating active cervical ROM is part of routine assessment of patients with neck pain. Interpretation of outcomes necessitates having normative data per age category. Currently available normative values differ across studies, perhaps due to (the measurement properties of) the devices used. Methods: A systematic review according to PRISMA guidelines was conducted. Electronic searches included EMBASE, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL and Google Scholar databases from inception to August 2018. Included studies had to involve healthy subjects in which active cervical ROM was assessed or when determining normative values was the aim of the study. Methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using an adapted version of the QUADAS. A mean value was re-calculated for the total group in case data were presented per gender per age-category only. When possible, data were pooled. Results: From 2151 unique hits, 217 articles were selected for full text assessment, after which 162 articles were excluded. Data were extracted from 55 articles using 16 different measurement devices. Twenty-five studies were rated as being of “low risk of bias”. Only data from studies evaluating the CROM device and Zebris could be pooled. Conclusions: This systematic review revealed that although a large number of studies assessed normative data for active cervical ROM, the methodological quality of most studies was low and the heterogeneity between studies was high. Only the normative data for active cervical ROM using the CROM device seems to be useful. Overall, reference values for measuring active cervical ROM is unclear for most measurement devices. Normative values of cervical range of motion for both children and adults: a systematic review.

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