Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Accuracy and Clinical Usability of Goniometer Applications
Author Affiliations
  • University of Louisville
  • Hardtner Medical Center
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Assessment/Measurement
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
Accuracy and Clinical Usability of Goniometer Applications
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011500079.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011500079.

Date Presented 4/9/2016

The purpose of this poster presentation is to evaluate the reliability and validity of various goniometer applications as well as their ease of use for practitioners. The results of this study contribute to the science-driven and evidence-based profession of occupational therapy.

Primary Author and Speaker: Patti Calk

Additional Author and Speaker: Emilee Reichardt

Contributing Authors: Laura Stewart, Summer Thomas

As advancements are made in technology, practitioners are searching for more innovative techniques and methods to do their job. The purpose of this study is to establish the validity of goniometer apps and determine the clinical usability of the applications when compared to the traditional goniometer. As technology advances and new devices are being developed for rehabilitation professions, each device should be examined for its reliability and clinical usability before it is implemented in the clinical setting (Tousignant-Laflamme, Boutin, Dion, & Vallée, 2013). At present, the standard goniometer continues to be the tool of choice to obtain range of motion (ROM) measurements.
To identify the most reliable and current applications for obtaining goniometric measurements, a comparative study was performed. Goniometer applications may aid in recording measurements by taking a photograph of the individual’s extremity at beginning and end ROM, utilizing the device’s inclinometers to determine the measurement or utilizing the device’s motion sensors to measure degrees of motion (Rhon, 2013).
The following goniometer applications were evaluated: Goniometer Records, Goniometer Pro, and DrGoniometer. This study had 29 participants (15 men and 14 women). Active ROM of shoulder flexion and abduction were tested using the apps and the standard goniometer (gold standard). Measurements were taken with the tools in this order: traditional goniometer, Goniometer Records app, Goniometer Pro app, DrGoniometer app, and then the traditional goniometer again. Shoulder flexion was tested in this sequence followed by shoulder abduction. Between each measurement, the patient was provided a 2-min rest period.
A paired t test was utilized to test significant differences between each app and the traditional goniometer for shoulder flexion and shoulder abduction. Data analysis revealed that of the three apps tested, both the Goniometer Records (p = .002) and Goniometer Pro (p = .000) apps yielded statistically significant differences from the traditional goniometer and would not produce valid results. Only the DrGoniometer yielded no statistically significant difference from the traditional goniometer (p = .465) and would be considered analogous to this gold standard.
When compared with the gold standard, DrGoniometer showed good validity for accurately measuring shoulder ROM in flexion and abduction. The DrGoniometer app was also ranked highest in overall usability.
Rhon, D. (2013). Smartphone as a clinical tool—Systematic review of goniometer apps. Retrieved from
Tousignant-Laflamme, Y., Boutin, N., Dion, A. M., & Vallée, C. (2013). Reliability and criterion validity of two applications of the iPhone to measure cervical range of motion in healthy participants. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 10, 1–9.