Oral Communication

Study of the validity and reproducibility of the Biering-Sorensen test in chronic low back pain

Prof Sameh GHROUBIa, Dr Salma JRIBIa, Dr Jihen JDIDIb, Prof Abdelmoneem YAHIAa, Dr Wafa ELLEUCHa, Dr Mokhtar CHAABENc, Prof Jamel DAMMAKb, Prof Mohamed Habib ELLEUCHa

a Service de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, CHU Habib Bourguiba, Sfax, Tunisie, et Unité de recherche de l’évaluation des pathologies de l’appareil locomoteur UR12ES18, université de Sfax, b Service de Médecine Communautaire et Epidémiologie, CHU Hedi Chaker, Sfax-Tunisie, c National Sport Medicine Program Department (NSMP) Aspetar- Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital Doha, Qatar

Issue: Dynamometric trunk muscle strength and endurance test are performed widely within the rehabilitation management of chronic low back pain.

Objective: to examine the validity and the reliability of the Sorensen test in patients with chronic low back pain.

Patients and Methods:

59 subjectswere included divided into 2 groups: the first group included 30 chronic low back pain patients and the second group included 29 healthy controls. Anthropometric data of all subjects inboth groupswere collected for comparability study. Construct validity wasinvestigated with the use of the Spearman rank correlation coefficient (convergent and divergent validity). As for convergentvalidity, it was investigated via correlationbetween the Sorensen test with isokinetic dynamometer parameters at 60 and 120 ° / s , and isometric at 60° trunk flexure, the Borg scale, the 6-minute test, and the Beck Scale. Divergent validity was studied via correlation between the Sorensen test and visual analogue scale (VAS)pain, VAS functional impairment and the Oswestry score.

Intra-rater reliability was assessed by use the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and the Bland and Altman method.


Both groups were comparable at basic characteristics. Convergent validity of the Sorensen was judged good. We found significant correlationsbetween the Sorensen test and the others parameters: the isokinetic and isometric parameters (respectively(r=0,5, p<0,001), (r=0,58, p<0,001),the Borg scale(r=0,4, p=0,02), and the Shirado test(r=0,59, p<0,001). Divergent validity was good with weak correlations between VAS pain and functional impairment indices (p> 0.05). An intra-raterreliabilityof the Biering-Sorensen test was (ICC=93.2%)in chronic low back pain patientsand (ICC=96.6%) in the control group.


The Biering-Sorensen test demonstrated his good validity and his reliability in the evaluation of trunk musclesendurance. Consequently, this test could be recommended for the muscular assessment in the management of all patients with chronic low back pain.

Keywords : chronic low back pain, muscular endurance, trunk extensor muscles, Sorensen test, isokinetic