Confirmatory Factor Analysis in Osteopathic Medicine: Fascial and Spinal Motion Restrictions as Correlates of Muscle Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Melinda F. Davis, PhD; Katherine Worden, DO; Diane Clawson, DO; F. John Meaney, PhD; and Burris Duncan, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: June 15, 2005

Accepted: January 25, 2006

Published: June 1, 2007

J Osteopath Med; 107(6): 226-232

Context: While numerous measures are available to assist physicians in assessing patients with cerebral palsy, there is a paucity of instruments that capture data relevant to osteopathic assessment. The lack of such tools limits the reach of research in key osteopathic indicators.

Methods: A structured objective form designed to assist osteopathic physicians in the evaluation of fascial restriction, restriction of spinal motion, and muscle spasticity was developed for use during osteopathic musculoskeletal structural examinations. Data were collected as part of a larger study investigating the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment versus acupuncture in children with cerebral palsy. In the present study, confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the relationships between fascial and spinal motion restrictions in addition to spasticity.

Results: In 57 children with spastic cerebral palsy, latent factors for fascial restrictions and spinal motion restriction fit the data well and both factors were correlated with a visual analog scale rating of the child’s muscle spasticity.

Conclusions: These findings provide preliminary evidence for the factorial and concurrent validity of fascial and spinal motion restrictions, demonstrating the benefits of an instrument for assessing the results of osteopathic musculoskeletal structural examinations.

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