University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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Temporal Reliability of the Functional Movement Screen

Lindsay Woodbury MS, ATC


Movement screens are protocols for evaluating individual’s movement patterns. The Functional Movement Screen identifies athletes with abnormal patterns using seven tests. Some studies have suggested that low FMS scores relate to an increased risk of injury. 2,3,5 However, few studies have examined reliability of the FMS itself.

This study was designed to investigate temporal reliability of FMS scores. Methods Using a test/re-test method, sixteen subjects underwent the Functional Movement Screen twice at a one week interval. Composite and individual test scores were recorded and compared. Results Composite test scores significantly increased on average 0.68 points toward the maximum of 21. All scores except right shoulder mobility and left quadruped rotary were significantly correlated. Significant differences were only found with the left shoulder mobility and composite scores.

FMS scores tended to increase by one point out of 21 across one week. This increase is most likely due to a learning effect seen with most test/re-test methods. Although mathematically significant, a one point increase is not large enough to nullify clinical application of the FMS.