Reliability of the Functional Lower Extremity Evaluation
Determining when an athlete is ready to return to play (RTP) post-injury has always proved a challenge for clinicians. The Functional Lower Extremity Evaluation (FLEE) is a 45-minute battery of 8 standardised functional performance tests that evaluates control, power, and endurance. The goal of the present study was to establish the reliability and face validity of the FLEE.
A face validity survey for the FLEE was sent to sports medicine practitioners to evaluate the level of importance and frequency that each test was used clinically. The FLEE was then administered and scored for 40 uninjured athletes.
Regarding face validity, 58-71% of the respondents rated the FLEE tasks as highly important, but only 26-45% frequently used the FLEE in the clinical setting. Inter-rater reliability ICCs ranged from 0.83-1.00, while intra-rater reliability ranged between 0.71-0.95.
Despite being under utilised, the FLEE components are considered clinically important. It also appears reliable. Further studies are required in a post-injured population to further determine its clinical utility.
> From: Haitz et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the Pubmed summary.