Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    The role of social risk in an early preventative care programme for infants born very preterm: a randomized controlled trial
    Spittle, AJ ; Treyvaud, K ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the differential effects of an early intervention programme for infants born preterm on neurodevelopment and parental mental health according to family social risk. METHOD: One hundred and twenty infants born earlier than 30 weeks' gestation were randomized to early intervention (n=61) or control groups (n=59). Cognitive, language, and motor outcomes were assessed by blinded assessors at 2 years, 4 years, and 8 years, and primary caregivers completed questionnaires on their anxiety and depression. Outcomes at each time point were compared between groups using linear regression with an interaction term for social risk (higher/lower). RESULTS: There was evidence of interactions between intervention group and social risk for cognition at 2 years and 4 years, motor function at 4 years, and language at 8 years, with a greater intervention effect in children from higher social risk environments. In contrast, the impact of early intervention on parental depressive symptoms was greater for parents of lower social risk than for those of higher social risk. INTERPRETATION: Effects of early intervention on outcomes for children born preterm and their caregivers varied according to family social risk. Family social risk should be considered when implementing early intervention programmes for children born preterm and their families. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Intervention is associated with better early cognitive functioning for children in higher social risk families. Positive effects of intervention for the high risk group were not sustained at school-age. Intervention has a greater effect on primary caregiver mental health in the lower social risk group compared with higher social risk.
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    Preterm and term-equivalent age general movements and 1-year neurodevelopmental outcomes for infants born before 30weeks' gestation
    Olsen, JE ; Allinson, LG ; Doyle, LW ; Brown, NC ; Lee, KJ ; Eeles, AL ; Cheong, JLY ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2018-01-01)
    AIM: To examine the associations between Prechtl's General Movements Assessment (GMA), conducted from birth to term-equivalent age, and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 12 months corrected age, in infants born very preterm. METHOD: One hundred and thirty-seven infants born before 30 weeks' gestation had serial GMA (categorized as 'normal' or 'abnormal') before term and at term-equivalent age. At 12 months corrected age, neurodevelopment was assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS); Neurological, Sensory, Motor, Developmental Assessment (NSMDA); and Touwen Infant Neurological Examination (TINE). The relationships between GMA at four time points and 12-month neurodevelopmental assessments were examined using regression models. RESULTS: Abnormal GMA at all time points were associated with worse continuous scores on the AIMS, NSMDA, and TINE (p<0.05). Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with increased odds of mild-severe dysfunction on the NSMDA (odds ratio [OR] 4.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.55-11.71, p<0.01; and OR 4.16, 95% CI 1.55-11.17, p<0.01 respectively) and abnormal GMA before term with increased odds of suboptimal-abnormal motor function on the TINE (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.10-6.85, p=0.03). INTERPRETATION: Abnormal GMA before term and at term-equivalent age were associated with worse neurodevelopment at 12 months corrected age in children born very preterm. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Abnormal general movements before term predict developmental deficits at 1 year in infants born very preterm. General Movements Assessment before term identifies at-risk infants born very preterm.
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    Survey of neurodevelopmental allied health teams in Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries: Staff profile and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment
    Allinson, LG ; Doyle, LW ; Denehy, L ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    AIMS: The primary aim of this study was to establish how many neonatal nurseries in Australia and New Zealand had a neurodevelopmental allied health team, to ascertain the disciplines involved, their qualifications and experience. The secondary aim was to evaluate which standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments were currently being implemented, and the existing practice in relation to their use. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional survey, sampling 179 eligible public and private hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and special care nurseries (SCNs) throughout Australia and New Zealand, was purpose-developed and administered electronically from the 5th April to 23rd July 2013. RESULTS: A total of 117 units (65%) overall, and 26 of 26 (100%) NICUs responded to the survey. NICUs had more neurodevelopmental allied health staff than SCNs, with physiotherapists and speech pathologists the most common disciplines. Physiotherapists were more likely to administer standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments in NICUs, while medical staff were more likely to do so in SCNs. A wide variety of standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessment tools were used, with Prechtl's General Movements Assessment the most common in the NICUs (50%) and the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination the most common in the special care units (25%). Standardised neurobehavioural assessments were not administered in 22% of SCNs. CONCLUSIONS: Although neurodevelopmental allied health teams and standardised neurobehavioural/neurological assessments are valued by many, there was little consistency across Australian and New Zealand neonatal nurseries.
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    Predictive value of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition at 4years, for motor impairment at 8years in children born preterm
    Griffiths, A ; Morgan, P ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Lee, KJ ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2017-05-01)
    AIM: To assess the predictive validity at 4 years of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - Second Edition (MABC-2) for motor impairment at 8 years in children born preterm. We also aimed to determine if sex, cognition, medical, or social risks were associated with motor impairment at 8 years or with a change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. METHOD: Ninety-six children born at less than 30 weeks' gestation were assessed with the MABC-2 at 4 years and 8 years of age. Motor impairment was defined as less than or equal to the 5th centile. The Differential Ability Scales - Second Edition (DAS-II) was used to measure General Conceptual Ability (GCA) at 4 years, with a score <90 defined as 'below average'. RESULTS: There was a strong association between the MABC-2 total standard scores at 4 years and 8 years (59% variance explained, regression coefficient=0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.91, p<0.001). The MABC-2 at 4 years had high sensitivity (79%) and specificity (93%) for predicting motor impairment at 8 years. Below average cognition and higher medical risk were associated with increased odds of motor impairment at 8 years (odds ratio [OR]=15.3, 95% CI 4.19-55.8, p<0.001, and OR=3.77, 95% CI 1.28-11.1, p=0.016 respectively). Sex and social risk did not appear to be associated with motor impairment at 8 years. There was little evidence that any variables were related to change in MABC-2 score between 4 years and 8 years. INTERPRETATION: The MABC-2 at 4 years is predictive of motor functioning in middle childhood. Below average cognition and higher medical risk may be predictors of motor impairment.
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    Neurobehaviour at term-equivalent age and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm
    Spittle, AJ ; Walsh, JM ; Potter, C ; Mcinnes, E ; Olsen, JE ; Lee, KJ ; Anderson, PJ ; Doyle, LW ; Cheong, JLY (WILEY, 2017-02-01)
    AIM: To examine the association between newborn neurobehavioural assessments and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years in infants born moderate-to-late preterm (MLPT). METHOD: Two-hundred and one infants born MLPT (born 32-36+6 wks' gestation) were assessed with the Hammersmith Neonatal Neurological Examination (HNNE) and NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS), with suboptimal performance defined as scores lower than the 10th centile. Development was assessed at 2 years corrected age with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd Edition, with delay defined as scores less than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean. The relationships between neurobehaviour at term and Bayley-III cognitive, language, and motor scales at 2 years were examined using linear regression. RESULTS: Increased odds for cognitive delay were associated with suboptimal HNNE total scores (odds ratio [OR] 2.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-6.23, p=0.020) and suboptimal NNNS excitability (OR 3.01; 95% CI 1.33-6.82, p=0.008) and lethargy (OR 4.05; 95% CI 1.75-9.31, p=0.001) scores. Suboptimal lethargy scores on the NNNS were associated with increased odds of language (OR 5.64; 95% CI 1.33-23.85, p=0.019) and motor delay (OR: 6.86; 95% CI 1.64-28.71, p=0.08). INTERPRETATION: Suboptimal performance on specific aspects of newborn neurobehavioural assessments is associated with neurodevelopmental delay at 2 years in children born MLPT.
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    Effectiveness of motor interventions in infants with cerebral palsy: a systematic review
    Morgan, C ; Darrah, J ; Gordon, AM ; Harbourne, R ; Spittle, A ; Johnson, R ; Fetters, L (WILEY, 2016-09-01)
    AIM: To systematically review the evidence on the effectiveness of motor interventions for infants from birth to 2 years with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy or at high risk of it. METHOD: Relevant literature was identified by searching journal article databases (PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Web of Knowledge, and PEDro). Selection criteria included infants between the ages of birth and 2 years diagnosed with, or at risk of, cerebral palsy who received early motor intervention. RESULTS: Thirty-four studies met the inclusion criteria, including 10 randomized controlled trials. Studies varied in quality, interventions, and participant inclusion criteria. Neurodevelopmental therapy was the most common intervention investigated either as the experimental or control assignment. The two interventions that had a moderate to large effect on motor outcomes (Cohen's effect size>0.7) had the common themes of child-initiated movement, environment modification/enrichment, and task-specific training. INTERPRETATION: The published evidence for early motor intervention is limited by the lack of high-quality trials. There is some promising evidence that early intervention incorporating child-initiated movement (based on motor-learning principles and task specificity), parental education, and environment modification have a positive effect on motor development. Further research is crucial.
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    Movement-based interventions for preschool-age children with, or at risk of, motor impairment: a systematic review
    Cameron, KL ; Albesher, RA ; McGinley, JL ; Allison, K ; Cheong, JLY ; Spittle, AJ (WILEY, 2019-11-12)
    AIM: To explore the efficacy of movement-based interventions to improve motor skills in preschool-age children with, or at risk of, motor impairment, including those with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and developmental coordination disorder. METHOD: Relevant electronic databases were searched for randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials. Outcomes were classified using domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children & Youth version. Quality was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Effect sizes were calculated using Cohen's d. RESULTS: Seventeen articles exploring a heterogeneity of intervention types, population groups, and outcome measures met the inclusion criteria. Movement-based interventions did not significantly improve outcomes in either the body structure and function or activity domains in most studies. No studies used a participation outcome measure. INTERPRETATION: There is a paucity of evidence exploring movement-based interventions in the preschool-age group. Although movement-based interventions showed potential for improving body structure and function and activity outcomes for children with motor impairment, results were mostly not significant. Small sample sizes, variable study quality, and risk of bias limit confidence in the results. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: The evidence is inconclusive to support movement-based interventions in this group. No studies used outcome measures assessing participation. Variability in intervention type and study quality limit confidence in results.