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Reliability of the Modified Foot Posture Index

Mark W. Cornwall Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.

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Thomas G. McPoil Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.

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Michael Lebec Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.

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Bill Vicenzino Department of Physiotherapy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Australia.

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Jodi Wilson Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ.

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Background: The Foot Posture Index (FPI) has been advocated as a simple and convenient tool to assess static foot posture in a clinical setting. Although published studies have indicated that the FPI has good intrarater reliability and moderate interrater reliability, these studies were conducted on a previous version of the tool that used eight criteria to score a patient’s foot posture. The revised tool has only six criteria (FPI-6). The purpose, therefore, of this study was to investigate the intrarater and interrater reliability of the revised version of the FPI.

Methods: Three different raters used the FPI-6 to twice evaluate 92 feet from 46 individuals.

Results: Intrarater reliability was high but interrater reliability was only moderate. In addition, using the raw score generated by the FPI-6 to classify feet into one of five categories did not improve agreement between raters.

Conclusions: The FPI-6 should be used with extreme caution and may actually have limited value, especially from a research perspective. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(1): 7–13, 2008)

Corresponding author: Mark W. Cornwall, PT, PhD, CPed, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Program in Physical Therapy, Northern Arizona University, PO Box 15105, Flagstaff, AZ 86011.
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