Share this article on:

Functional Movement Screening: Predicting Injuries in Officer Candidates


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 12 - p 2224–2230
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318223522d
Clinical Sciences

Purpose Functional movement screening (FMS) is a musculoskeletal assessment method that incorporates seven movements and yields an overall score based on movement quality. The objectives of this study were to document the distribution of scores and to determine whether FMS scores could predict injury in a large military cohort.

Methods A cohort of 874 Marine officer candidates were recruited, consented, completed demographic questionnaires, and had FMS performed during medical in-processing. Candidates were enrolled in either long-cycle (LC: 68 d; n = 427) or short-cycle (SC: 38 d; n = 447) training and followed up for injuries occurring in training.

Results The mean FMS score (score range = 0–21) among all candidates was 16.6 ± 1.7; approximately 10% of candidates had FMS scores ≤14. A score of ≤14 on the FMS predicted any injury with a sensitivity of 0.45 and a specificity of 0.71 and serious injury with a sensitivity of 0.12 and a specificity of 0.94. Both LC and SC cohorts demonstrated higher injury risk among candidates who had scores ≤14 compared with those with scores >14 (LC: risk ratio (RR) = 1.65, 95% confidence interval = 1.05–2.59, P = 0.03; SC: RR = 1.91, 95% confidence interval = 1.21–3.01, P < 0.01). Overall, 79.8% of persons with scores ≤14 were in the group with fitness scores <280 (/300), whereas only 6.6% of candidates in the group with fitness scores ≥280 had scores ≤14.

Conclusions This was the first large-scale study performed in an active-duty military cohort to examine the utility of FMS during medical in-processing. Further work is warranted to evaluate FMS and the potential for injury prediction and prevention.

1Uniformed Services University, Consortium for Health and Military Performance, Bethesda, MD; 2Department of Family Medicine, Womack Army Community Hospital, Fort Bragg, NC; and 3Public Health Command (Prov), Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

Address for correspondence: Francis G. O’Connor, M.D., M.P.H., Military and Emergency Medicine, Uniformed Services University, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; E-mail:

Submitted for publication November 2010.

Accepted for Publication April 2011.

©2011The American College of Sports Medicine