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Anne Jensen

DPhil Title

The accuracy & precision of kinesiology-style manual muscle testing: A series of diagnostic test accuracy studies

Research abstract

Kinesiology-style manual muscle testing (kMMT), a non-invasive assessment method used to detect a large variety of target conditions, is estimated to be used by over 1 million people worldwide, yet its usefulness has not yet been established. One specific target condition was chosen: kMMT was used to distinguish False from True statements. This target condition was chosen because it is in common clinical use among kMMT practitioners, and because it has concrete margins. The main objectives of this series of studies was to estimate the accuracy of kMMT, and its stability and influencers. In this series of studies, kMMT has repeatedly been found to be significantly more accurate (61-69% correct) than both Intuition (47-52% correct) and Chance (50%) for distinguishing lies from truths. Practitioners appear to be an integral part of the kMMT dynamic because when replaced by a mechanical device (i.e. a grip strength dynamometer), distinguishing Lies from Truth was not possible. A limitation of this series of studies is a lack of generalisability to other applications of kMMT, such as its use in other paradigms or using muscles other than the deltoid. A next step in establishing the validity of kMMT is assessing its clinical utility within kMMT technique systems as a whole through effectiveness trails. 

Supervisors:

Dr Richard Stevens

Dr Amanda Burls