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How type and number of training sessions influence the reliability of palpation


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Randomized Controlled Trial, Clinical trial


Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Apr;22(2):396-401.


Carolina Lavazza, Valeria Milano, Alessandra Abenavoli, Alberto Maggiani 


Introduction: Accurate and reliable palpation is needed to identify anatomical landmarks as well as to assess motion and dysfunctions. Although different trials suggested that training might increase reliability of palpation, the poor dependability of the examined tests may show the need to review the teaching methods to improve palpatory accuracy? The aims of this study were: METHODS: 82 examiners with different years of experience were enrolled from AIMO institute. Two different type of training sessions were performed (individual and group training). A total of 5 training sessions were performed during 5 weeks and 5 different models with a similar BMI were used. A uni-variated statistical analysis was used to evaluate the main effect of type and number of trainings, a multi-variated analysis was used to verify cross-effects.

Results: Overall results show moderate reliability for the correct detection of the position of the heel lift (Random probability being 33%, GT = 58.6% and SIPS = 57.1%, both P-value < 0.001). No difference was shown between the types of training (p-value GT = 0.503, p-value PSIS = 1) and no overall improvement was shown after the first training (P-value(GT) = 0.25, P-value(PSIS) = 0.96). The professional group improved the reliability during the training sessions starting from substantial reliability and ended with an almost perfect reliability (P-value GT = 0.0029, P-Value PSIS<0.001). Whereas the 3rd 4th and 5th showed a decreased performance.

Conclusions: Type of training sessions seems not to influence reliability of palpation accuracy. The improvement of reliability during the training sessions seems to be related to the experience of examiners, which plays an important role in reliability and the learning experience.

Publication Date: 

2018 Apr



Lavazza, C., Milano, V., Abenavoli, A., Maggiani, A. (2018) 'How type and number of training sessions influence the reliability of palpation ', J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Apr;22(2):396-401.

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