Shoulder impingement syndrome: a systematic review of clinical trial participant selection criteria

Amy R. Watts, Ben Williams, Susan W. Kim, Donald C. Bramwell, Jeganath Krishnan

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) is a common diagnosis for patients with pain and dysfunction of the shoulder. Variations in the signs and symptoms might lead to uncertainty regarding the definition of SIS. The aim of this review is to explore the participant selection criteria used in the literature when investigating SIS and to assess differences in criteria among treating professions. Methods: This is a PRISMA systematic review of publications from 2009 to 2014 from MEDLINE, PubMed, The Cochrane Library, Embase, Scopus and CINAHL. Results: Ninety-seven articles met inclusion criteria for this review. Twenty-five different surgical and nonsurgical treatments were investigated. Impingement-specific index tests were used in all studies. Exclusion index tests were used in 62% of studies. Twenty index tests were identified. Radiological investigations were reported in 53% of all studies, of which a further 53% reported using two or more radiological investigations. Conclusions: This systematic review has illustrated that studies investigating SIS test for various signs and symptoms, which is in keeping with describing the condition as a ‘syndrome’. However, there are inconsistencies in participant selection criteria between health disciplines, highlighting a need for harmonization of the selection criteria in the form of an international editorial consensus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-41
    Number of pages11
    JournalShoulder and Elbow
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


    • assessment criteria
    • index tests
    • shoulder impingement syndrome
    • subacromial impingement


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