Background: Previous systematic reviews revealed poor reliability and validity for sacroiliac joint (SIJ) mobility tests. However, these reviews were published nearly 20 years ago and recent evidence has not yet been summarised.
Objectives: To conduct an up-to-date systematic review to verify whether recommendations regarding the clinical use of SIJ mobility tests should be revised.
Study design: Systematic review.
Method: The literature was searched for relevant articles via 5 electronic databases. The review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. COSMIN checklists were used to appraise the methodological quality. Studies were included if they had at least fair methodology and reported clinimetric properties of SIJ mobility tests performed in adult patients with non-specific low back pain, pelvic (girdle) pain and/or SIJ pain. Only tests that can be performed in a clinical setting were considered.
Results: Twelve relevant articles were identified, of which three were of sufficient methodological quality. These three studies evaluated the reliability of eight SIJ mobility tests and one test cluster. For the majority of individual tests, the intertester reliability showed slight to fair agreement. Although some tests and one test cluster had higher reliability, the confidence intervals around most reliability estimates were large. Furthermore, there were no validity studies of sufficient methodological quality.
Conclusion: Considering the low and/or imprecise reliability estimates, the absence of high-quality diagnostic accuracy studies, and the uncertainty regarding the construct these tests aim to measure, this review supports the previous recommendations that the use of SIJ mobility tests in clinical practice is problematic.