Functional deficits and changes in scapular mechanics following breast cancer (BC) treatments have been documented. Scapular assessment is important when examining the shoulder in survivors of breast cancer to document the need for or effectiveness of physical therapy intervention. The Oncology Section Task Force on Breast Cancer Outcomes sought to identify scapular examination tools that can be recommended for routine use in individuals treated for BC.
A systematic review of the literature on scapular measures was conducted. Relevant studies were examined for psychometric properties and clinical usefulness. Each method was given a recommendation score based on the Breast Cancer EDGE (Evidence Database to Guide Effectiveness) criteria.
Only Dynamic Motion Assessment was recommended for clinical use. The remaining tools lacked either good psychometric properties or clinical usefulness.
Measurement of scapular motion remains a challenge and reliable and valid measures must precede further research into scapular problems among survivors of breast cancer.