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Caliper Method Versus Digital Photogrammetry for Assessing Arch Height Index in Pregnant Women

Kathryn D. Harrison Division of Exercise Physiology, Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV.

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Jean L. McCrory Division of Exercise Physiology, Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV.

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Background: Foot anthropometry may be altered during pregnancy. Pregnant women often report lower-extremity pain that may be related to these alterations. The Arch Height Index Measurement System is a common method of foot arch assessment; however, the required calipers are costly and are not widely available. Thus, we compared the reliability of a digital photogrammetry method of arch height index (AHI) assessment with that of the Arch Height Index Measurement System.

Methods: Ten pregnant women (mean ± SD: age, 29 ± 4 years; height, 166.9 ± 6.8 cm; weight, 63.3 ± 8.8 kg) in their second trimester were recruited to participate, along with a control group of 10 nulliparous weight-matched women (mean ± SD: age, 22 ± 2 years; height, 164.6 ± 4.8 cm; weight, 61.5 ± 8.1 kg). During the second and third trimesters, and once postpartum, AHI was assessed using calipers and using digital photogrammetry. Mixed model absolute agreement type intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to determine correlation between the two methods for sitting and standing AHI.

Results: The ICC results for sitting AHI only (0.819–0.968) were reasonable for clinical measures; ICC values for standing AHI (0.674–0.789) did not reach values deemed reasonable for clinical use.

Conclusions: Caliper and digital photogrammetry methods of AHI assessment are correlated in pregnant women; however, for standing AHI, the correlation is not sufficient for clinical use. Photogrammetry may still be appropriate for clinical use, as long as values from this method are not substituted directly for results obtained from calipers.

Corresponding author: Jean L. McCrory, PhD, Division of Exercise Physiology, Department of Human Performance and Applied Exercise Science, West Virginia University School of Medicine, 8315 HSC-S, PO Box 9227, Morgantown, WV 26506. (E-mail: jlmccrory@hsc.wvu.edu)