Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Early Detection and Classification of Patient-Ventilator Asynchrony Using Machine Learning
    Gao, E ; Ristanoski, G ; Aickelin, U ; Berlowitz, D ; Howard, M ; Michalowski, M ; Abidi, SSR ; Abidi, S (SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, 2022-01-01)
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    P132 Research in the time of COVID-19: Recruitment to a clinical trial comparing models of NIV implementation in people with MND
    Sheers, N ; Howard, M ; Hannan, L ; Retica, S ; Berlowitz, D (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-10-07)
    Abstract Introduction A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining the feasibility of a new model of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) implementation was due to commence in early 2020. Based on previous research, it was anticipated that 100% of people with motor neurone disease (MND) would be eligible, 60% would consent to participate and 20 people would be randomised in five months. The aim of this report is to describe the impact of COVID-19 pandemic contingencies on trial recruitment. Methods Report of project progress, participant screening and recruitment. Results First reports of COVID-19 coincided with study commencement and changed usual healthcare delivery. Lockdowns meant telehealth substituted for face-to-face assessment, respiratory function testing was limited and/or patients were reluctant to seek medical treatment. This modified pathway impacted evaluation of diagnosis, timing of need for NIV and procedural safety, with patients then referred specifically for a single-day hospital NIV implementation to enable face-to-face multidisciplinary assessment to aid decisions. Of 81 potential participants screened in an 8-month period, 64% were ineligible for the RCT. Despite this shift in eligibility rate, 16 people with MND have been recruited as of May 2021. Conclusion The current climate has amplified the significance of this research trial; people with MND have had reduced access to face-to-face services globally and clinicians have had to quickly adapt to a changing landscape of telemedicine and remote monitoring of patients. This trial’s screening data suggest that COVID-19 hasn’t stopped people with MND being implemented on NIV, but it has altered assessment pathways.
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    Objective measurement of lung volume recruitment therapy: laboratory and clinical validation
    Naughton, PE ; Sheers, N ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Howard, ME ; McKim, DA ; Katz, SL (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-01-01)
    Lung volume recruitment manoeuvres are often prescribed to maintain respiratory health in neuromuscular disease. Unfortunately, no current system accurately records delivered dose. This study determined the performance characteristics of a novel, objective, manual lung volume recruitment bag counter ('the counter') with bench and healthy volunteer testing, as well as in individuals with neuromuscular disease. We undertook (1) bench test determination of activation threshold, (2) bench and healthy volunteer fidelity testing during simulated patient interface leak and different pressure compressions and (3) comparisons with self-report in individuals with neuromuscular disease. The data are reported as summary statistics, compression counts, percentage of recorded versus delivered compressions and concordance (Cohen's kappa (K) and absolute agreement). RESULTS: Minimum counter activation pressure under conditions of zero leak was 1.9±0.4 cm H2O. No difference was observed between the number of repetitions delivered and recorded during high airway pressure condition. Interface leak approximating 25% resulted in underestimation of repetition counts, and once the leak was at 50% or beyond, the counter recorded no activity. Faster sampling frequency collected data with more fidelity. Counter data agreed with diary self-report during community trials (16 participants, 960 participant days, 77% agreement, Cohen's Κ=0.66 and p<0.001). Disagreement typically favoured more diary reported (18%) than counter (5%) sessions. CONCLUSIONS: The performance characteristics of a new lung volume recruitment counter have been established in both laboratory and community settings. Objective usage and dosage data should accelerate new knowledge development and better translation of lung volume recruitment therapy into policy and practice.
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    Respiratory adjuncts to NIV in neuromuscular disease
    Sheers, N ; Howard, ME ; Berlowitz, DJ (WILEY, 2019-06-01)
    Muscle weakness is an intrinsic feature of neuromuscular diseases (NMD). When the respiratory muscles are involved, the ability to take a deep breath is compromised, leading to reduced lung volumes and a restrictive ventilatory impairment. Inspiratory, expiratory and bulbar muscle weakness can also impair cough, which may impede secretion clearance. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is an established and indispensable therapy to manage hypoventilation and respiratory failure. The role of other therapies that support respiratory health is less clearly defined, and the evidence of efficacy is also harder to summarize as the underlying data are of a lesser quality. This narrative review appraises the evidence for respiratory therapies in adults with NMD and respiratory system involvement. Techniques that assist lung inflation and augment cough, such as lung volume recruitment (LVR) and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation (MI-E), are a particular focus of this review. The evidence suggests that LVR, MI-E and various combinations thereof have clinical utility generally, but important methodological limitations limit the strength of clinical recommendations and hamper the integration of evidence into practice. Future trials should prospectively assess the long-term impact of LVR and cough augmentation on clinical outcomes and burden of care in addition to lung mechanics, as well as determine clear predictors of benefit from these techniques.
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    Typical within and between person variability in non-invasive ventilator derived variables among clinically stable, long-term users
    Jeganathan, V ; Rautela, L ; Conti, S ; Saravanan, K ; Rigoni, A ; Graco, M ; Hannan, LM ; Howard, ME ; Berlowitz, DJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Despite increasing capacity to remotely monitor non-invasive ventilation (NIV), how remote data varies from day to day and person to person is poorly described. METHODS: Single-centre, 2-month, prospective study of clinically stable adults on long-term NIV which aimed to document NIV-device variability. Participants were switched to a ventilator with tele-monitoring capabilities. Ventilation settings and masking were not altered. Raw, extensible markup language data files were provided directly from Philips Respironics (EncoreAnywhere). A nested analysis of variance was conducted on each ventilator variable to apportion the relative variation between and within participants. RESULTS: Twenty-nine people were recruited (four withdrew, one had insufficient data for analyses; 1364 days of data). Mean age was 54.0 years (SD 18.4), 58.3% male with body mass index of 37.0 kg/m2 (13.7). Mean adherence was 8.53 (2.23) hours/day and all participants had adherence >4 hours/day. Variance in ventilator-derived indices was predominantly driven by differences between participants; usage (61% between vs 39% within), Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index (71% vs 29%), unintentional (64% vs 36%) and total leak (83% vs 17%), tidal volume (93% vs 7%), minute ventilation (92% vs 8%), respiratory rate (92% vs 8%) and percentage of triggered breaths (93% vs 7%). INTERPRETATION: In this clinically stable cohort, all device-derived indices were more varied between users than the day-to-day variation within individuals. We speculate that normative ranges and thresholds for clinical intervention need to be individualised, and further research is necessary to determine the clinically important relationships between clinician targets for therapy and patient-reported outcomes.
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    Pneumothorax in neuromuscular disease associated with lung volume recruitment and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation
    McDonald, LA ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Howard, ME ; Rautela, L ; Chao, C ; Sheers, N (WILEY, 2019-08-01)
    A 25-year-old male with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and a 73-year-old male with motor neurone disease both presented with chest pain and increasing dyspnoea following routine mechanical insufflation-exsufflation or lung volume recruitment, on a background of long-term non-invasive ventilation. In each case, chest radiograph revealed a pneumothorax. In both cases the pneumothorax fully resolved following insertion of an intercostal catheter. There was no immediate recurrence and the patients were discharged home and ceased ongoing prophylactic respiratory therapy, although one person had recurrent pneumothoraces subsequently. This rare but serious complication highlights the need for careful risk/benefit analysis by clinicians prescribing these therapies.
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    Stationary gaze entropy predicts lane departure events in sleep-deprived drivers
    Shiferaw, BA ; Downey, LA ; Westlake, J ; Stevens, B ; Rajaratnam, SMW ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Swann, P ; Howard, ME (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-02-02)
    Performance decrement associated with sleep deprivation is a leading contributor to traffic accidents and fatalities. While current research has focused on eye blink parameters as physiological indicators of driver drowsiness, little is understood of how gaze behaviour alters as a result of sleep deprivation. In particular, the effect of sleep deprivation on gaze entropy has not been previously examined. In this randomised, repeated measures study, 9 (4 male, 5 female) healthy participants completed two driving sessions in a fully instrumented vehicle (1 after a night of sleep deprivation and 1 after normal sleep) on a closed track, during which eye movement activity and lane departure events were recorded. Following sleep deprivation, the rate of fixations reduced while blink rate and duration as well as saccade amplitude increased. In addition, stationary and transition entropy of gaze also increased following sleep deprivation as well as with amount of time driven. An increase in stationary gaze entropy in particular was associated with higher odds of a lane departure event occurrence. These results highlight how fatigue induced by sleep deprivation and time-on-task effects can impair drivers' visual awareness through disruption of gaze distribution and scanning patterns.