Reliability and validity of the anterior knee pain scale: Applications for use as an epidemiologic screener

Richard F. Ittenbach, Guixia Huang, Kim D.Barber Foss, Timothy E. Hewett, Gregory D. Myer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A screening instrument's ability to provide clinicians with consistent and reproducible information is crucial to intervention. Despite widespread acceptance and clinical use of the Kujala Anterior Knee Pain Scale (AKPS) in orthopedics and sports medicine, few studies have reported on its reliability and no such studies have concentrated on child or adolescent samples exclusively, segments of the population for which this instrument is often used. The purpose of the current study was to describe and report on the reliability and validity of the AKPS for use with high school female athletes participating in interscholastic athletics. The study was a secondary analysis of prospective epidemiologic data using established scale validation methods. The records of 414 female athletes 11.0 to 18.1 years of age (Mean 13.9 yrs, SD = 1.7 yrs) were used for analysis. Four different approaches to scoring and scale reduction of the AKPS were evaluated, including the original, ordinal 13-item form, a modified, ordinal 6-item form, a modified, dichotomous 13-item form, and a modified, dichotomous 6-item form. Three different types of reliability (internal consistency, equivalence across forms, standard error of measurement) and one type of validity (criterionrelated) were estimated for the AKPS in the current sample. The four scoring formats of the AKPS scale were found to have high internal consistency (αcoef = 0.83 to 0.91), equivalence across the short and long forms (r = 0.98), acceptable standard errors of measurement (0.82 to 3.00), and moderate to high criterion related validity-as determined by physican's diagnosis: 0.92 (13-item form), 0.90 (6-item form). The Kujala AKPS is a valid and reliable measure of anterior knee pain and appropriate for use as an epidemiologic screening tool with adolescent female athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0159204
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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