Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Very Preterm Early Motor Repertoire and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes at 8 Years
    Salavati, S ; Bos, AF ; Doyle, LW ; Anderson, PJ ; Spittle, AJ (AMER ACAD PEDIATRICS, 2021-09-01)
    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Children born very preterm (<32 weeks' gestation) have more neurodevelopmental problems compared with term-born peers. Aberrant fidgety movements (FMs) are associated with adverse motor outcomes in children born very preterm. However, associations of aberrant FMs combined with additional movements and postures to give a motor optimality score-revised (MOS-R) with school-aged cognitive and motor outcomes are unclear. Our aim with this study was to determine those associations. METHODS: Of 118 infants born <30 weeks' gestation recruited into a randomized controlled trial of early intervention, 97 had a general movements assessment at 3 months' corrected age and were eligible for this study. Early motor repertoire including FMs and MOS-R were scored from videos of infant's spontaneous movement at 3 months' corrected age. At 8 years' corrected age, cognitive and motor performances were evaluated. Associations of early FMs and MOS-R with outcomes at 8 years were determined using linear regression. RESULTS: Seventy-eight (80%) infants with early motor repertoire data had neurodevelopmental assessments at 8 years. A higher MOS-R, and favorable components of the individual subscales of the MOS-R, including the presence of normal FMs, were associated with better performance for general cognition, attention, working memory, executive function and motor function at 8 years; eg, presence of normal FMs was associated with a 21.6 points higher general conceptual ability score (95% confidence interval: 12.8-30.5; P < .001) compared with absent FMs. CONCLUSIONS: Favorable early motor repertoire of infants born <30 weeks is strongly associated with improved cognitive and motor performance at 8 years.
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    Early Intervention for Children Aged 0 to 2 Years With or at High Risk of Cerebral Palsy International Clinical Practice Guideline Based on Systematic Reviews
    Morgan, C ; Fetters, L ; Adde, L ; Badawi, N ; Bancale, A ; Boyd, RN ; Chorna, O ; Cioni, G ; Damiano, DL ; Darrah, J ; de Vries, LS ; Dusing, S ; Einspieler, C ; Eliasson, A-C ; Ferriero, D ; Fehlings, D ; Forssberg, H ; Gordon, AM ; Greaves, S ; Guzzetta, A ; Hadders-Algra, M ; Harbourne, R ; Karlsson, P ; Krumlinde-Sundholm, L ; Latal, B ; Loughran-Fowlds, A ; Mak, C ; Maitre, N ; McIntyre, S ; Mei, C ; Morgan, A ; Kakooza-Mwesige, A ; Romeo, DM ; Sanchez, K ; Spittle, A ; Shepherd, R ; Thornton, M ; Valentine, J ; Ward, R ; Whittingham, K ; Zamany, A ; Novak, I (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2021-05-17)
    IMPORTANCE: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood physical disability. Early intervention for children younger than 2 years with or at risk of CP is critical. Now that an evidence-based guideline for early accurate diagnosis of CP exists, there is a need to summarize effective, CP-specific early intervention and conduct new trials that harness plasticity to improve function and increase participation. Our recommendations apply primarily to children at high risk of CP or with a diagnosis of CP, aged 0 to 2 years. OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the best available evidence about CP-specific early interventions across 9 domains promoting motor function, cognitive skills, communication, eating and drinking, vision, sleep, managing muscle tone, musculoskeletal health, and parental support. EVIDENCE REVIEW: The literature was systematically searched for the best available evidence for intervention for children aged 0 to 2 years at high risk of or with CP. Databases included CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and Scopus. Systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were appraised by A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) or Cochrane Risk of Bias tools. Recommendations were formed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework and reported according to the Appraisal of Guidelines, Research, and Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument. FINDINGS: Sixteen systematic reviews and 27 RCTs met inclusion criteria. Quality varied. Three best-practice principles were supported for the 9 domains: (1) immediate referral for intervention after a diagnosis of high risk of CP, (2) building parental capacity for attachment, and (3) parental goal-setting at the commencement of intervention. Twenty-eight recommendations (24 for and 4 against) specific to the 9 domains are supported with key evidence: motor function (4 recommendations), cognitive skills (2), communication (7), eating and drinking (2), vision (4), sleep (7), tone (1), musculoskeletal health (2), and parent support (5). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: When a child meets the criteria of high risk of CP, intervention should start as soon as possible. Parents want an early diagnosis and treatment and support implementation as soon as possible. Early intervention builds on a critical developmental time for plasticity of developing systems. Referrals for intervention across the 9 domains should be specific as per recommendations in this guideline.
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    A data driven approach to identify trajectories of prenatal alcohol consumption in an Australian population-based cohort of pregnant women
    Muggli, E ; Hearps, S ; Halliday, J ; Elliott, EJ ; Penington, A ; Thompson, DK ; Spittle, A ; Forster, DA ; Lewis, S ; Anderson, PJ (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2022-03-14)
    Accurate information on dose, frequency and timing of maternal alcohol consumption is critically important when investigating fetal risks from prenatal alcohol exposure. Identification of distinct alcohol use behaviours can also assist in developing directed public health messages about possible adverse child outcomes, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. We aimed to determine group-based trajectories of time-specific, unit-level, alcohol consumption using data from 1458 pregnant women in the Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy (AQUA) longitudinal study in Melbourne, Australia. Six alcohol consumption trajectories were identified incorporating four timepoints across gestation. Labels were assigned based on consumption in trimester one and whether alcohol use was continued throughout pregnancy: abstained (33.8%); low discontinued (trimester one) (14.4%); moderate discontinued (11.7%); low sustained (13.0%); moderate sustained (23.5%); and high sustained (3.6%). Median weekly consumption in trimester one ranged from 3 g (low discontinued) to 184 g of absolute alcohol (high sustained). Alcohol use after pregnancy recognition decreased dramatically for all sustained drinking trajectories, indicating some awareness of risk to the unborn child. Further, specific maternal characteristics were associated with different trajectories, which may inform targeted health promotion aimed at reducing alcohol use in pregnancy.
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    Cohort profile: early school years follow-up of the Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy Longitudinal Study in Melbourne, Australia (AQUA at 6)
    Muggli, E ; Halliday, J ; Elliott, EJ ; Penington, A ; Thompson, D ; Spittle, AJ ; Forster, D ; Lewis, S ; Hearps, S ; Anderson, PJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-01-01)
    PURPOSE: The Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy (AQUA) study, established in 2011, is a prebirth cohort of 1570 mother and child pairs designed to assess the effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and sporadic binge drinking on long-term child development. Women attending general antenatal clinics in public hospitals in Melbourne, Australia, were recruited in their first trimester, followed up three times during pregnancy and at 12 and 24 months postpartum. The current follow-up of the 6-8-year-old children aims to strengthen our understanding of the relationship between these levels of prenatal alcohol exposure and neuropsychological functioning, facial dysmorphology, brain structure and function. PARTICIPANTS: Between June 2018 and April 2021, 802 of the 1342 eligible AQUA study families completed a parent-report questionnaire (60%). Restrictions associated with COVID-19 pandemic disrupted recruitment, but early school-age neuropsychological assessments were undertaken with 696 children (52%), and 482 (36%) craniofacial images were collected. A preplanned, exposure-representative subset of 146 children completed a brain MRI. An existing biobank was extended through collection of 427 (32%) child buccal swabs. FINDINGS TO DATE: Over half (59%) of mothers consumed some alcohol during pregnancy, with one in five reporting at least one binge-drinking episode prior to pregnancy recognition. Children's craniofacial shape was examined at 12 months of age, and low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with subtle midface changes. At 2 years of age, formal developmental assessments showed no evidence that cognitive, language or motor outcome was associated with any of exposure level. FUTURE PLANS: We will investigate the relationship between prenatal alcohol exposure and specific aspects of neurodevelopment at 6-8 years, including craniofacial shape, brain structure and function. The contribution of genetics and epigenetics to individual variation in outcomes will be examined in conjunction with national and international collaborations.
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    Translating antenatal magnesium sulphate neuroprotection for infants born < 28 weeks' gestation into practice: A geographical cohort study
    Doyle, LW ; Spittle, AJ ; Olsen, JE ; Kwong, A ; Boland, RA ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Cheong, JLY (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    BACKGROUND: Magnesium sulphate was introduced for fetal neuroprotection in Australia in 2010. The aim of this study was to determine how often antenatal magnesium sulphate is used currently and its association with cerebral palsy in children born <28 weeks' gestation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants comprised all survivors born <28 weeks' gestational age in the state of Victoria in 2016-17, and earlier, in 1991-92, 1997, 2005. Rates of cerebral palsy, diagnosed at two years for the 2016-17 cohort, and at eight years in the earlier cohorts, were compared across eras. Within 2016-17, the proportions of children exposed to antenatal magnesium sulphate were determined, and rates of cerebral palsy were compared between those with and without exposure to magnesium sulphate. RESULTS: Overall, cerebral palsy was present in 6% (11/171) of survivors born in 2016-17, compared with 12% (62/499) of survivors born in the three earlier eras (odds ratio (OR) 0.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25-0.94; P = 0.032). Data were available for 213/215 (99%) survivors born in 2016-17, of whom 147 (69%) received magnesium sulphate. Data on cerebral palsy at two years were available for 171 (80%) survivors with magnesium data. Cerebral palsy was present in 5/125 (4%) children exposed to magnesium sulphate and in 6/46 (13%) of those not exposed (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08-0.96; P = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS: Antenatal magnesium sulphate is being translated into clinical practice for infants born <28 weeks' gestation, but there is room for improvement. It is associated with lower rates of cerebral palsy in survivors.
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    Barriers and facilitators to community participation for preschool age children born very preterm: a prospective cohort study
    Cameron, KL ; FitzGerald, TL ; Albesher, RA ; McGinley, JL ; Allison, K ; Lee, KJ ; Cheong, JLY ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2021-01-09)
    AIM: We compared preschool age children born very preterm with term-born controls to: (1) understand the association between very preterm birth and community participation, (2) determine if motor impairment or social risk affect participation differently between groups, and (3) understand environmental barriers and supports to participation for parents. METHOD: Forty-eight children born very preterm (<30wks' gestation; 22 males, 26 females) and 96 controls (47 males, 49 females) were assessed at 4 to 5 years' corrected age for community participation using the Young Children's Participation and Environment Measure. Motor skills were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition and the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire. RESULTS: Children born very preterm participated less frequently than term-born children (difference in means=-0.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.54 to -0.03, p=0.029). Social risk was associated with lower frequency (interaction p<0.001) and involvement (interaction p=0.05) in community activities for children in the very preterm group only. Parents of children born very preterm perceived more barriers (odds ratio=4.32, 95% CI 1.46-12.77, p=0.008) and environmental factors to be less supportive of participation than parents of controls (difference in medians=-6.21, 95% CI -11.42 to -1.00, p=0.02). INTERPRETATION: Children born very preterm may benefit from ongoing support to promote participation, especially in families of higher social risk.