Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    CLINICAL SPASTICITY ASSESSMENT USING THE MODIFIED TARDIEU SCALE DOES NOT REFLECT JOINT ANGULAR VELOCITY OR RANGE OF MOTION DURING WALKING: ASSESSMENT TOOL IMPLICATIONS
    Banky, M ; Clark, RA ; Mentiplay, BF ; Olver, JH ; Williams, G (FOUNDATION REHABILITATION INFORMATION, 2021-01-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Spasticity assessment is often used to guide treatment decision-making. Assessment tool limitations may influence the conflicting evidence surrounding the relationship between spasticity and walking. This study investigated whether testing speeds and joint angles during a Modified Tardieu assessment matched lower-limb angular velocity and range of motion during walking. DESIGN: Observational study. SUBJECTS: Thirty-five adults with a neurological condition and 34 assessors. METHODS: The Modified Tardieu Scale was completed. Joint angles and peak testing speed during V3 (fast) trials were compared with these variables during walking in healthy people, at 0.400.59, 0.600.79 and 1.401.60 m/s. The proportion of trials in which the testing speed, start angle, and angle of muscle reaction matched the relevant joint angles and angular velocity during walking were analysed. RESULTS: The Modified Tardieu Scale was completed faster than the angular velocities seen during walking in 88.7% (0.400.59 m/s), 78.9% (0.600.79 m/s) and 56.2% (1.401.60 m/s) of trials. When compared with the normative dataset, 4.2%, 9.5% and 13.7% of the trials met all criteria for each respective walking speed. CONCLUSION: When applied according to the standardized procedure and compared with joint angular velocity during walking, clinicians performed the Modified Tardieu Scale too quickly.
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    Can adults with cerebral palsy perform and benefit from ballistic strength training to improve walking outcomes? A mixed methods feasibility study
    Gjesdal, BE ; Maeland, S ; Williams, G ; Aaslund, MK ; Rygh, CB ; Cumming, KT (BMC, 2021-12-18)
    BACKGROUND: Power bursts of hips and ankle plantar flexors are prerequisites to walking propulsion. However, these power bursts are reduced during gait for persons with cerebral palsy (CP) and mainly in the ankle plantar flexors. Hence, task specific training, such as ballistic strength training, is suggested to increase muscle power in walking but not investigated in adults with CP. Therefore, the aim was to investigate if adults with CP could perform and benefit from ballistic strength training to improve walking, evaluated through physical measures and self-reported measures and interviews. METHODS: In this mixed methods feasibility study, eight ambulatory adults (aged 24-56) with spastic CP conducted ballistic strength training on a glideboard targeting the ankle plantarflexors two times a week for eight weeks. The feasibility of the training was assessed through objectives described by Orsmond and Cohn. Before and after the intervention, physical measures (6-Minute Walk Test and the eight-item High-level Mobility Assessment Tool) and self-reported measures (Patient Global Impression of Change, Numeric Pain Rating Scale, Fatigue Impact and Severity Self-Assessment, and Walk-12) were collected. After the intervention, semi-structured interviews explored experiences of this training. RESULTS: The participants experienced training the ankle plantar flexor as relevant but reported it took about four weeks to coordinate the exercises successfully. Although we observed no changes in the physical performance measures, most participants reported improvements; some felt steadier when standing, walking, and hopping. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that ballistic strength training was feasible and suitable in adults with CP. However, guidance and a long (4 weeks) familiarization time were reported necessary to master the exercises. Most participants reported self-experienced improvements, although no physical performance measures improved. Thus, prolonged intervention may be required for perceived physical improvements to emerge. Also, other outcome measures sensitive to power output remains to be investigated.
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    Kits for wearable sensor systems: exploring software and hardware system design, building guides, and opportunities for clinical rehabilitation
    Clark, RA ; Thilarajah, S ; Williams, G ; Kahn, M ; Heywood, S ; Tan, HH ; Hough, EJ ; Pua, Y ; Godfrey, A ; Stuart, S (Academic Press, 2021)
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    The effect of exercise on high-level mobility in individuals with neurodegenerative disease: a systematic literature review
    Smith, M ; Barker, R ; Williams, G ; Carr, J ; Gunnarsson, R (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2020-03-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of exercise on high-level mobility (i.e. mobility more advanced than independent level walking) in individuals with neurodegenerative disease. DATA SOURCES: A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, SportDiscus and PEDro. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised controlled trials of exercise interventions for individuals with neurodegenerative disease, with an outcome measure that contained high-level mobility items were included. High-level mobility items included running, jumping, bounding, stair climbing and backward walking. Outcome measures with high-level mobility items include the High Level Mobility Assessment Tool (HiMAT); Dynamic Gait Index; Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI) or modified RMI; Functional Gait Assessment and the Functional Ambulation Category. STUDY APPRAISAL: Quality was evaluated with the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. RESULTS: Twenty-four studies with predominantly moderate to low risk of bias met the review criteria. High-level mobility items were included within primary outcome measures for only two studies and secondary outcome measures for 22 studies. Eight types of exercise interventions were investigated within which high-level mobility tasks were not commonly included. In the absence of outcome measures or interventions focused on high-level mobility, findings suggest some benefit from treadmill training for individuals with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease. Progressive resistance training for individuals with multiple sclerosis may also be beneficial. With few studies on other neurodegenerative diseases, further inferences cannot be made. CONCLUSION: Future studies need to specifically target high-level mobility in the early stages of neurodegenerative disease and determine the impact of high-level mobility interventions on community participation and maintenance of an active lifestyle. Systematic review registration number PROSPERO register for systematic reviews (registration number: CRD42016050362).
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    Finding the right balance with participation in exercise and sport for individuals with multiple sclerosis: protocol for a pre and post intervention feasibility study
    Smith, M ; Williams, G ; Barker, R (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-03-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Individuals with minimal disability from multiple sclerosis (MS) requested advice on finding the right balance, between too much and too little exercise, when participating in their choice of sport or exercise. To optimise exercise participation during the early stages of the disease, a flexible exercise participation programme (FEPP) has been developed. The FEPP is novel because it provides guidance and support for individuals with MS to participate and progress in their preferred sport or exercise. The primary objective was to assess the feasibility of the FEPP. The secondary objective was to assess the feasibility of a larger trial to demonstrate the efficacy of the FEPP. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A stage I feasibility study of the FEPP, using a single group preintervention/post-intervention design, will be conducted with 16 participants with minimal disability from MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale level of 0-3.5). The 12-week FEPP will guide participants to independently participate in their preferred sport or exercise at a location of their choice. Exercise progression will be guided by individual energy levels and a weekly telephone coaching session with a physiotherapist. Participation in exercise or sport will be recorded in parallel with assessment of disease biomarkers (plasma cytokines interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, interferon (IFN)-γ and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)), subjective vitality and high-level mobility. Acceptability of the FEPP will be assessed using a sequential explanatory mixed methods design where the findings of a participant survey will inform the interview guide for a series of focus groups.Feasibility of a larger trial will be assessed via process, resources, management and scientific metrics. Progression to a larger trial will depend on the achievement of specified minimum success criteria. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained for this study from the James Cook University Human Research Ethics Committee (H7956). Dissemination of findings is planned via peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations and media releases. The protocol date was 21 December 2019, V.1. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The trial is registered with Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ACTRN12620000076976.
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    Effects of Supervised Early Resistance Training versus standard care on cognitive recovery following cardiac surgery via median sternotomy (the SEcReT study): protocol for a randomised controlled pilot study
    Pengelly, JMS ; Royse, AG ; Bryant, AL ; Williams, GP ; Tivendale, LJ ; Dettmann, TJ ; Canty, DJ ; Royse, CF ; El-Ansary, DA (BMC, 2020-07-15)
    INTRODUCTION: Mild cognitive impairment is considered a precursor to dementia and significantly impacts upon quality of life. The prevalence of mild cognitive impairment is higher in the post-surgical cardiac population than in the general population, with older age and comorbidities further increasing the risk of cognitive decline. Exercise improves neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and inflammatory and neurotrophic factor pathways, which may help to augment the effects of cognitive decline. However, the effects of resistance training on cognitive, functional and overall patient-reported recovery have not been investigated in the surgical cardiac population. This study aims to determine the effect of early moderate-intensity resistance training, compared to standard care, on cognitive recovery following cardiac surgery via a median sternotomy. The safety, feasibility and effect on functional recovery will also be examined. METHODS: This study will be a prospective, pragmatic, pilot randomised controlled trial comparing a standard care group (low-intensity aerobic exercise) and a moderate-intensity resistance training group. Participants aged 18 years and older with coronary artery and/or valve disease requiring surgical intervention will be recruited pre-operatively and randomised 1:1 to either the resistance training or standard care group post-operatively. The primary outcome, cognitive function, will be assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale and cognitive subscale. Secondary measures include safety, feasibility, muscular strength, physical function, multiple-domain quality of recovery, dynamic balance and patient satisfaction. Assessments will be conducted at baseline (pre-operatively) and post-operatively at 2 weeks, 8 weeks, 14 weeks and 6 months. DISCUSSION: The results of this pilot study will be used to determine the feasibility of a future large-scale randomised controlled trial that promotes the integration of early resistance training into existing aerobic-based cardiac rehabilitation programs in Australia. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12617001430325p . Registered on 9 October 2017. Universal Trial Number (UTN): U1111-1203-2131.
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    Consumer experience of a flexible exercise participation program (FEPP) for individuals with multiple sclerosis: A mixed-methods study
    Smith, M ; Neibling, B ; Williams, G ; Birks, M ; Barker, R (WILEY, 2021-09-28)
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The flexible exercise participation program (FEPP) is a novel intervention developed to enable individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) participate and progress in an exercise or sport of their choice. The FEPP is underpinned by guidelines on aerobic exercise for individuals with MS and is supported by a physiotherapist using behaviour change techniques. As part of a FEPP feasibility trial, the aim of this nested study was to explore the experience of participation in the FEPP from the perspective of individuals with MS. The objectives were to (i) determine the acceptability of the FEPP and (ii) identify recommendations for improvement. METHODS: A mixed methods study using a sequential explanatory design was conducted. Part I consisted of a quantitative participant survey. Survey data were analysed descriptively using SPSS and informed the protocol for part II - qualitative interviews. Interview data were analysed thematically using NVivo. Part III consisted of integration of quantitative and qualitative data to allow greater explanation of survey responses. Individuals with MS who had participated in the FEPP feasibility trial were invited to take part in the study. RESULTS: The FEPP was highly acceptability to the 10 participants. Five themes emerged to describe the experience of participating in the FEPP: (i) exploring exercise boundaries, (ii) measuring energy, (iii) acknowledging accountability, (iv) adjusting to exercising in a pandemic and (v) sustaining participation. Recommendations for improving the FEPP included changes to energy level monitoring and incorporation of peer support mechanisms. DISCUSSION: Participants found the FEPP highly acceptable and valued the flexibility to choose their own activity and the health professional support. Based on participant recommendations, future versions of the FEPP will include daily rather than weekly monitoring of exercise and peer support to further enable individuals with MS to find the right balance with exercise and sport.
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    Reliability of lumbar multifidus and iliocostalis lumborum thickness and echogenicity measurements using ultrasound imaging.
    Farragher, J ; Pranata, A ; El-Ansary, D ; Parry, S ; Williams, G ; Royse, C ; Royse, A ; O'Donohue, M ; Bryant, A (Wiley, 2021-08)
    PURPOSE: To establish the test-retest and inter-rater reliability of lumbar multifidus (LM) and iliocostalis lumborum (IL) muscle thickness and echogenicity as derived using ultrasound imaging. METHODS: Ultrasound images of the LM and IL were collected from 11 healthy participants on two occasions, 1 week apart, by two independent assessors. Measures of LM and IL thickness and echogenicity were subject to test-retest and inter-rater reliability, which was assessed by calculation of an F statistic, the interclass correlation coefficient (ICC), the standard error of measurement, 95% confidence intervals and Bland-Altman plots. This study was given approval by The University of Melbourne Behavioural and Social Sciences Human Ethics Sub-Committee (ref: 1749845). RESULTS: Assessors A and B showed good to excellent test-retest reliability for LM thickness (ICC3,3 A: 0.89 and B: 0.98), LM echogenicity (ICC3,3 A: 0.93 and B: 0.95) and IL echogenicity (ICC3,3 A: 0.87 and B: 0.83). Test-retest reliability for IL thickness was poor for Assessor A but excellent for Assessor B. Both assessors demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability for LM thickness and echogenicity (ICC2,3: 0.79 and 0.94), but poor reliability for IL thickness and echogenicity (ICC2,3: 0.00 and 0.39). CONCLUSIONS: Inter-rater and test-retest reliability was excellent for LM but was less reliable for measures of the IL muscle.