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General visceral tests: An inter-reliability study

2019/11/20

Author: Birgit Konings
Supervisor: Virginie De Bruyne, MSc. Ost.

Background: Visceral dysfunctions often occurs after abdominal surgery. It has an effect on medical expenses, socio-economic costs and loss of productivity at work. However not many studies have been done about visceral osteopathy in general. Even more, there are hardly any studies done about the daily used general visceral test. This made it provocative to study the reliability of this test.

Objective: The main purpose is to examine if the general visceral test is a reliable indicative instrument in the osteopathy.  

Material and Methods: 107 test subjects were subjected to the general visceral tests. Nine regions on the ventral abdominal wall and two regions on the dorsal abdominal wall were tested. Both researchers examined the criteria pain and resistance.

Results: For pain the examiners found in 89,4% an agreement in their results. 68,7% of the time there was an agreement found on resistance. Using Cohen’s kappa for pain there was in general a moderate degree of agreement found for pain  (к = 0,593, p < 0,0005) and also for resistance (к = 0,579, p < 0,001). When the regions were looked at separately there was a fair degree agreement found on resistance. A good degree of agreement on pain was found within the hypochondrial regions, the right umbilical region and the right grynfelt area (к = 0,6 – 0,8). For the central and left umbilical regions and the iliac fossa’s a moderate degree of agreement was found (к = 0,4 – 0,6).

Conclusion: From the results the conclusion could be made that there is a moderate to good degree of agreement using the criteria resistance during this test. Therefore the general visceral test is a reliable indicative instrument when using the criteria resistance.

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