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Do Functional Movement Screen (FMS) composite scores predict subsequent injury? A systematic review with meta-analysis
  1. Robert W Moran1,2,
  2. Anthony G Schneiders3,
  3. Jesse Mason4,
  4. S John Sullivan1
  1. 1School of Physiotherapy, Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Health Care, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, School of Health, Medical & Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Branyan, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Health Care, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Robert W Moran, Health Care, Unitec Institute of Technology Private Bag 92025, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; rmoran{at}


Aim This paper aims to systematically review studies investigating the strength of association between FMS composite scores and subsequent risk of injury, taking into account both methodological quality and clinical and methodological diversity.

Design Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted for the period between their inception and 3 March 2016 using PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, Scopus, Academic Search Complete, AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine Database), CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Health Source and SPORTDiscus.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Inclusion criteria: (1) English language, (2) observational prospective cohort design, (3) original and peer-reviewed data, (4) composite FMS score, used to define exposure and non-exposure groups and (5) musculoskeletal injury, reported as the outcome. Exclusion criteria: (1) data reported in conference abstracts or non-peer-reviewed literature, including theses, and (2) studies employing cross-sectional or retrospective study designs.

Results 24 studies were appraised using the Quality of Cohort Studies assessment tool. In male military personnel, there was ‘strong’ evidence that the strength of association between FMS composite score (cut-point ≤14/21) and subsequent injury was ‘small’ (pooled risk ratio=1.47, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.77, p<0.0001, I2=57%). There was ‘moderate’ evidence to recommend against the use of FMS composite score as an injury prediction test in football (soccer). For other populations (including American football, college athletes, basketball, ice hockey, running, police and firefighters), the evidence was ‘limited’ or ‘conflicting’.

Conclusion The strength of association between FMS composite scores and subsequent injury does not support its use as an injury prediction tool.

Trial registration number PROSPERO registration number CRD42015025575.

  • Sporting injuries
  • Functional movement screen
  • Evidence -based review
  • Injury prevention

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  • Contributors RM conceived the idea for the study. RM and JM undertook the literature search, and RM and AGS screened search results. RM and JM determined eligibility for inclusion and appraised the articles. AS took the final decision on appraisal decisions when not agreed by RM and JM. RM drafted the manuscript, and AS and JS reviewed it critically for intellectual content. All authors approved the final version. RM submitted the article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Exempt

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data supporting this study are provided as supplementary information accompanying this paper.