The Seated Trunk Control Test: Investigation of Reliability and Known-Groups Validity Using Individuals Post-Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Travis R. Pollen, Chelsey Roe, Darren Johnson, Sheri P. Silfies, Brian Noehren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Decreased trunk neuromuscular control is a risk factor for both upper- and lower-extremity injuries, yet there are few reliable and valid clinical tests to identify deficits. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability and knowngroups validity of a novel clinical test, the seated trunk control test (STCT). Design: Cross-sectional reliability and known-groups validity study. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 89 unique participants: 34 were 3 months postoperative anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) and 55 healthy controls. Methods: For the STCT, participants sat on a balance board with their eyes closed for three 30-second trials while investigators counted balance errors. Intraclass correlations (ICCs) were used to assess interrater reliability (N = 20) and test-retest reliability (N = 40). To assess known-groups validity, independent t tests were used to compare STCT errors at 3 months post-ACLR with healthy matched controls (N = 34/group). Area under a receiver operating characteristic curve identified an optimal cutoff for distinguishing between groups. Results: The STCT had perfect interrater reliability (ICC2,3 = 1.00) and good test-retest reliability (ICC3,3 = .79; 95% confidence interval = .61-.89). The ACLR group made significantly more errors on the STCT (mean [SD] = 15.5 [5.4]) than controls (mean [SD] = 8.2 [4.1]; P < .001, Cohen d = 1.52). The STCT's ability to distinguish between groups was excellent (area under a ROC curve = 0.86). A cutoff of 12 errors maximized sensitivity (76%) and specificity (85%). Conclusions: The STCT is reliable between raters and across days. It also has excellent ability to distinguish between individuals with a recent ACLR and healthy matched controls, which provides initial evidence to suggest that the STCT may be clinically useful for identifying deficits in trunk neuromuscular control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • balance/posture
  • core stabilization
  • measurement properties
  • postsurgical
  • trunk/core

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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