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  • Poster Presentation
  • Open Access

Reliability of a smartphone goniometer app compared with traditional goniometer for measuring passive motion at the first metatarsophalangeal joint

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  • 1,
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  • 1 and
  • 1Email author
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research20158 (Suppl 2) :P12

  • Published:


  • Plane Motion
  • Passive Motion
  • Repeated Measure Design
  • Measurement Protocol
  • Interclass Correlation


Adequate sagittal plane motion of the first metatarsalphalangeal joint (1st MTPJ) is important during normal gait and goniometric measurement is commonly used as a diagnostic and outcome assessment tool for 1st MTPJ pathology. We aimed to determine the intra and inter-rater reliability of a universal plastic goniometer and a smartphone application when measuring dorsiflexion at the 1st MTPJ.


A double-blind repeated measures design was used (three raters, one observer) to measure 1st MTPJ dorsiflexion in both feet of 32 healthy volunteers (64 data sets) using a pre-defined measurement protocol. Reliability of the smartphone app (Dr. Goniometer v1.8 installed on an iphone 4s) and a standard universal goniometer was assessed using Interclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% confidence intervals.


Both instruments demonstrated excellent intra-rater reliability (ICC> 0.75), with moderate to good inter-rater reliability:
  • Universal Goniometer

  • Inter-rater reliability ICC 0.693 (95% CI 0.580 – 0.788)

  • Smartphone app

  • Inter-rater reliability ICC 0.708 (95% CI 0.597 - 0.799)


Moderate to high intra and inter-rater reliability of passive 1st MTPJ motion can be achieved with traditional and smartphone-based goniometric measurement. Smartphone applications may provide a slightly higher reliability, but devices should not be used inter-changeably as significant variations in measurement between devices may occur.

Authors’ Affiliations

University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences, 49 Darley Road, Eastbourne, BN20 7UR, UK


© Hales et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.