Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    The knee adduction moment in hamstring and patellar tendon anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed knees
    Webster, KE ; Feller, JA (SPRINGER, 2012-11-01)
    PURPOSE: The external knee adduction moment during gait has previously been associated with knee osteoarthritis, and although it has been shown to be greater following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery compared to a control group, it has not been compared between different graft types. Given that the incidence of radiographic knee osteoarthritis appears to be greater following patellar tendon compared to hamstring tendon ACL reconstruction, this study tested the hypothesis that the knee adduction moment would also be increased following patellar tendon ACL reconstruction. METHODS: In 48 male participants (16 patellar tendon graft, 16 hamstring graft and 16 controls), the external knee adduction moment was measured during level walking in a gait laboratory at mean of 10 months after surgery. RESULTS: There was no difference in the knee adduction moment between the hamstring and patellar tendon groups, and both patient groups had a significantly reduced knee adduction moment compared to the control group. In the hamstring group, the smaller adduction moment was associated with the patients walking with less knee varus whereas in the patellar tendon group, the smaller moment was associated with the patients walking with a decreased vertical ground reaction force. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that in male patients during the early stages of recovery from ACL reconstruction, the knee adduction moment is not greater than controls for either hamstring or patellar tendon graft types. Although the knee adduction moment was similar between the two graft types, the overall magnitude of the moment was influenced by different biomechanical factors. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
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    A survey of Australian chiropractors' attitudes and beliefs about evidence-based practice and their use of research literature and clinical practice guidelines.
    Walker, BF ; Stomski, NJ ; Hebert, JJ ; French, SD (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-12-17)
    BACKGROUND: Research into chiropractors' use of evidence in clinical practice appears limited to a single small qualitative study. The paucity of research in this area suggests that it is timely to undertake a more extensive study to build a more detailed understanding of the factors that influence chiropractors' adoption of evidence-based practice (EBP) principles. This study aimed to identify Australian chiropractors' attitudes and beliefs towards EBP in clinical practice, and also examine their use of research literature and clinical practice guidelines. METHODS: We used an online questionnaire about attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards the use of EBP in clinical practice that had been developed to survey physiotherapists and modified it to ensure that it was relevant to chiropractic practice. We endeavoured to survey all registered Australian chiropractors (n = 4378) via email invitation distributed by Australian chiropractic professional organisations and the Chiropractic Board of Australia. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine univariate associations between responses to items measuring attitudes and beliefs with items measuring: age; years since registration; attention to literature; and use of clinical practice guidelines. RESULTS: Questionnaires were returned by 584 respondents (response rate approximately 13%). The respondents' perceptions of EBP were generally positive: most agreed that the application of EBP is necessary (77.9%), literature and research findings are useful (80.2%), EBP helps them make decisions about patient care (66.5%), and expressed an interest in learning or improving EBP skills (74.9%). Almost half of the respondents (45.1%) read between two to five articles a month. Close to half of the respondents (44.7%) used literature in the process of clinical decision making two to five times each month. About half of the respondents (52.4%) agreed that they used clinical practice guidelines, and around half (54.4%) agreed that they were able to incorporate patient preferences with clinical practice guidelines. The most common factor associated with increased research uptake was the perception that EBP helps make decisions about patient care. CONCLUSIONS: Most Australian chiropractors hold positive attitudes towards EBP, thought EBP was useful, and were interested in improving EBP skills. However, despite the favourable inclination towards EBP, many Australian chiropractors did not use clinical practice guidelines. Our findings should be interpreted cautiously due to the low response rate.
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    Economic Evaluation of Active Implementation versus Guideline Dissemination for Evidence-Based Care of Acute Low-Back Pain in a General Practice Setting
    Mortimer, D ; French, SD ; McKenzie, JE ; OConnor, DA ; Green, SE ; Manchikanti, L (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-10-11)
    INTRODUCTION: The development and publication of clinical practice guidelines for acute low-back pain has resulted in evidence-based recommendations that have the potential to improve the quality and safety of care for acute low-back pain. Development and dissemination of guidelines may not, however, be sufficient to produce improvements in clinical practice; further investment in active implementation of guideline recommendations may be required. Further research is required to quantify the trade-off between the additional upfront cost of active implementation of guideline recommendations for low-back pain and any resulting improvements in clinical practice. METHODS: Cost-effectiveness analysis alongside the IMPLEMENT trial from a health sector perspective to compare active implementation of guideline recommendations via the IMPLEMENT intervention (plus standard dissemination) against standard dissemination alone. RESULTS: The base-case analysis suggests that delivery of the IMPLEMENT intervention dominates standard dissemination (less costly and more effective), yielding savings of $135 per x-ray referral avoided (-$462.93/3.43). However, confidence intervals around point estimates for the primary outcome suggest that--irrespective of willingness to pay (WTP)--we cannot be at least 95% confident that the IMPLEMENT intervention differs in value from standard dissemination. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that moving beyond development and dissemination to active implementation entails a significant additional upfront investment that may not be offset by health gains and/or reductions in health service utilization of sufficient magnitude to render active implementation cost-effective.
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    Low-cost evaluation and real-time feedback of static and dynamic weight bearing asymmetry in patients undergoing in-patient physiotherapy rehabilitation for neurological conditions
    Foo, J ; Paterson, K ; Williams, G ; Clark, R (BMC, 2013-07-12)
    BACKGROUND: Weight bearing asymmetry is common in patients with neurological conditions, and recent advances in gaming technology have produced force platforms that are suitable for use in a clinical setting. The aim of this research is to determine whether commercially-available Wii Balance Boards with customized software providing real-time feedback could be used in a clinical setting to evaluate and improve weight-bearing asymmetry in people with various neurological conditions. METHODS: Twenty participants (age = 43.25 ± 19.37 years) receiving physiotherapy as a result of a neurological condition performed three trials each of two tasks (static standing and sit-to-stand) with and without visual feedback. Vertical forces were measured using available Wii Balance Boards coupled with customized software that displayed visual feedback in real-time. Primary outcome measures included weight-bearing asymmetry as a percentage of body mass, peak force symmetry index, and a visual analogue scale score rating self-perceived level of asymmetry. RESULTS: Weight-bearing asymmetry during the static balance task was significantly reduced (Z = -2.912, p = 0.004, ES = 0.65) with visual feedback. There was no significant difference (Z = -0.336, p = 0.737) with visual feedback for the dynamic task, however subgroup analysis indicated that those with higher weight-bearing asymmetry responded the most to feedback. Correlation analysis revealed little or no relationship between participant perception of weight-bearing asymmetry and the results for the static or dynamic balance task (Spearman's rho: ρ = 0.138, p = 0.561 and ρ = 0.018, ρ =0.940 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that weight-bearing asymmetry can be reduced during static tasks in patients with neurological conditions using inexpensive commercially-available Wii Balance Boards coupled with customized visual feedback software. Further research is needed to determine whether real-time visual feedback is appropriate for reducing dynamic weight-bearing asymmetry, whether improvements result in improved physical function, and how cognitive and physical impairments influence the patient's ability to respond to treatment.
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    Strength Training for Arthritis Trial (START): design and rationale
    Messier, SP ; Mihalko, SL ; Beavers, DP ; Nicklas, BJ ; DeVita, P ; Carr, JJ ; Hunter, DJ ; Williamson, JD ; Bennell, KL ; Guermazi, A ; Lyles, M ; Loeser, RF (BMC, 2013-07-15)
    BACKGROUND: Muscle loss and fat gain contribute to the disability, pain, and morbidity associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA), and thigh muscle weakness is an independent and modifiable risk factor for it. However, while all published treatment guidelines recommend muscle strengthening exercise to combat loss of muscle mass and strength in knee OA patients, previous strength training studies either used intensities or loads below recommended levels for healthy adults or were generally short, lasting only 6 to 24 weeks. The efficacy of high-intensity strength training in improving OA symptoms, slowing progression, and affecting the underlying mechanisms has not been examined due to the unsubstantiated belief that it might exacerbate symptoms. We hypothesize that in addition to short-term clinical benefits, combining greater duration with high-intensity strength training will alter thigh composition sufficiently to attain long-term reductions in knee-joint forces, lower pain levels, decrease inflammatory cytokines, and slow OA progression. METHODS/DESIGN: This is an assessor-blind, randomized controlled trial. The study population consists of 372 older (age ≥ 55 yrs) ambulatory, community-dwelling persons with: (1) mild-to-moderate medial tibiofemoral OA (Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) = 2 or 3); (2) knee neutral or varus aligned knee ( -2° valgus ≤ angle ≤ 10° varus); (3) 20 kg.m-2 ≥ BMI ≤ 45 kg.m-2; and (3) no participation in a formal strength-training program for more than 30 minutes per week within the past 6 months. Participants are randomized to one of 3 groups: high-intensity strength training (75-90% 1Repetition Maximum (1RM)); low-intensity strength training (30-40%1RM); or healthy living education. The primary clinical aim is to compare the interventions' effects on knee pain, and the primary mechanistic aim is to compare their effects on knee-joint compressive forces during walking, a mechanism that affects the OA disease pathway. Secondary aims will compare the interventions' effects on additional clinical measures of disease severity (e.g., function, mobility); disease progression measured by x-ray; thigh muscle and fat volume, measured by computed tomography (CT); components of thigh muscle function, including hip abductor strength and quadriceps strength, and power; additional measures of knee-joint loading; inflammatory and OA biomarkers; and health-related quality of life. DISCUSSION: Test-retest reliability for the thigh CT scan was: total thigh volume, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) = 0.99; total fat volume, ICC = 0.99, and total muscle volume, ICC = 0.99. ICC for both isokinetic concentric knee flexion and extension strength was 0.93, and for hip-abductor concentric strength was 0.99. The reliability of our 1RM testing was: leg press, ICC = 0.95; leg curl, ICC = 0.99; and leg extension, ICC = 0.98. Results of this trial will provide critically needed guidance for clinicians in a variety of health professions who prescribe and oversee treatment and prevention of OA-related complications. Given the prevalence and impact of OA and the widespread availability of this intervention, assessing the efficacy of optimal strength training has the potential for immediate and vital clinical impact. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01489462.
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    Evaluation of a Theory-Informed Implementation Intervention for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain in General Medical Practice: The IMPLEMENT Cluster Randomised Trial
    French, SD ; McKenzie, JE ; O'Connor, DA ; Grimshaw, JM ; Mortimer, D ; Francis, JJ ; Michie, S ; Spike, N ; Schattner, P ; Kent, P ; Buchbinder, R ; Page, MJ ; Green, SE ; Gagnier, JJ (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-06-13)
    INTRODUCTION: This cluster randomised trial evaluated an intervention to decrease x-ray referrals and increase giving advice to stay active for people with acute low back pain (LBP) in general practice. METHODS: General practices were randomised to either access to a guideline for acute LBP (control) or facilitated interactive workshops (intervention). We measured behavioural predictors (e.g. knowledge, attitudes and intentions) and fear avoidance beliefs. We were unable to recruit sufficient patients to measure our original primary outcomes so we introduced other outcomes measured at the general practitioner (GP) level: behavioural simulation (clinical decision about vignettes) and rates of x-ray and CT-scan (medical administrative data). All those not involved in the delivery of the intervention were blinded to allocation. RESULTS: 47 practices (53 GPs) were randomised to the control and 45 practices (59 GPs) to the intervention. The number of GPs available for analysis at 12 months varied by outcome due to missing confounder information; a minimum of 38 GPs were available from the intervention group, and a minimum of 40 GPs from the control group. For the behavioural constructs, although effect estimates were small, the intervention group GPs had greater intention of practising consistent with the guideline for the clinical behaviour of x-ray referral. For behavioural simulation, intervention group GPs were more likely to adhere to guideline recommendations about x-ray (OR 1.76, 95%CI 1.01, 3.05) and more likely to give advice to stay active (OR 4.49, 95%CI 1.90 to 10.60). Imaging referral was not statistically significantly different between groups and the potential importance of effects was unclear; rate ratio 0.87 (95%CI 0.68, 1.10) for x-ray or CT-scan. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention led to small changes in GP intention to practice in a manner that is consistent with an evidence-based guideline, but it did not result in statistically significant changes in actual behaviour. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN012606000098538.
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    The use of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) in indigenous healthcare: a systematic literature review
    Alford, VM ; Remedios, LJ ; Webb, GR ; Ewen, S (BMC, 2013-05-16)
    INTRODUCTION: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2001 to obtain a comprehensive perspective of health and functioning of individuals and groups. Health disparities exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and there is a need to understand the health experiences of Indigenous communities from Indigenous Australian's perspectives in order to develop and implement culturally appropriate and effective intervention strategies to improve Indigenous health. This systematic review examines the literature to identify the extent and context of use of the ICF in Indigenous healthcare, to provide the foundation on which to consider its potential use for understanding the health experiences of Indigenous communities from their perspective. METHODS: The search was conducted between May and June 2012 of five scientific and medical electronic databases: MEDLINE, Web of Science, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete and PsychInfo and six Indigenous-specific databases: AIATSIS, APAIS-health, ATSI-health, health and society, MAIS-ATSIS and RURAL. Reference lists of included papers were also searched. Articles which applied the ICF within an Indigenous context were selected. Quantitative and qualitative data were extracted and analysed by two independent reviewers. Agreement was reached by consensus. RESULTS: Five articles met the inclusion criteria however two of the articles were not exclusively in an Indigenous context. One article applied the ICF in the context of understanding the health experience and priorities of Indigenous people and a second study had a similar focus but used the revised version of the International Classification of Impairments, Disability and Handicap (ICIDH-2), the predecessor to the ICF. Four of the five papers involved Indigenous Australians, and one of the paper’s participants were Indigenous (First Nation) Canadians. CONCLUSION: Literature referring to the use of the ICF with Indigenous populations is limited. The ICF has the potential to help understand the health and functioning experience of Indigenous persons from their perspective. Further research is required to determine if the ICF is a culturally appropriate tool and whether it is able to capture the Indigenous health experience or whether modification of the framework is necessary for use with this population.
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    Reliability and validity of the Microsoft Kinect for evaluating static foot posture
    Mentiplay, BF ; Clark, RA ; Mullins, A ; Bryant, AL ; Bartold, S ; Paterson, K (BMC, 2013-04-08)
    BACKGROUND: The evaluation of foot posture in a clinical setting is useful to screen for potential injury, however disagreement remains as to which method has the greatest clinical utility. An inexpensive and widely available imaging system, the Microsoft Kinect™, may possess the characteristics to objectively evaluate static foot posture in a clinical setting with high accuracy. The aim of this study was to assess the intra-rater reliability and validity of this system for assessing static foot posture. METHODS: Three measures were used to assess static foot posture; traditional visual observation using the Foot Posture Index (FPI), a 3D motion analysis (3DMA) system and software designed to collect and analyse image and depth data from the Kinect. Spearman's rho was used to assess intra-rater reliability and concurrent validity of the Kinect to evaluate foot posture, and a linear regression was used to examine the ability of the Kinect to predict total visual FPI score. RESULTS: The Kinect demonstrated moderate to good intra-rater reliability for four FPI items of foot posture (ρ = 0.62 to 0.78) and moderate to good correlations with the 3DMA system for four items of foot posture (ρ = 0.51 to 0.85). In contrast, intra-rater reliability of visual FPI items was poor to moderate (ρ = 0.17 to 0.63), and correlations with the Kinect and 3DMA systems were poor (absolute ρ = 0.01 to 0.44). Kinect FPI items with moderate to good reliability predicted 61% of the variance in total visual FPI score. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the foot posture items derived using the Kinect were more reliable than the traditional visual assessment of FPI, and were valid when compared to a 3DMA system. Individual foot posture items recorded using the Kinect were also shown to predict a moderate degree of variance in the total visual FPI score. Combined, these results support the future potential of the Kinect to accurately evaluate static foot posture in a clinical setting.
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    Community Walking in People with Parkinson's Disease
    Lamont, RM ; Morris, ME ; Woollacott, MH ; Brauer, SG (HINDAWI LTD, 2012-01-01)
    People with Parkinson's disease often have walking difficulty, and this is likely to be exacerbated while walking in places in the community, where people are likely to face greater and more varied challenges. This study aims to understand the facilitators and the barriers to walking in the community perceived by people with Parkinson's disease. This qualitative study involved 5 focus groups (n = 34) of people with Parkinson's disease and their partners residing in metropolitan and rural regions in Queensland, Australia. Results found that people with PD reported to use internal personal strategies as facilitators to community walking, but identified primarily external factors, particularly the environmental factors as barriers. The adoption of strategies or the use of facilitators allows people with Parkinson's disease to cope so that participants often did not report disability.
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    Robotics to enable older adults to remain living at home.
    Pearce, AJ ; Adair, B ; Miller, K ; Ozanne, E ; Said, C ; Santamaria, N ; Morris, ME (Hindawi Limited, 2012)
    Given the rapidly ageing population, interest is growing in robots to enable older people to remain living at home. We conducted a systematic review and critical evaluation of the scientific literature, from 1990 to the present, on the use of robots in aged care. The key research questions were as follows: (1) what is the range of robotic devices available to enable older people to remain mobile, independent, and safe? and, (2) what is the evidence demonstrating that robotic devices are effective in enabling independent living in community dwelling older people? Following database searches for relevant literature an initial yield of 161 articles was obtained. Titles and abstracts of articles were then reviewed by 2 independent people to determine suitability for inclusion. Forty-two articles met the criteria for question 1. Of these, 4 articles met the criteria for question 2. Results showed that robotics is currently available to assist older healthy people and people with disabilities to remain independent and to monitor their safety and social connectedness. Most studies were conducted in laboratories and hospital clinics. Currently limited evidence demonstrates that robots can be used to enable people to remain living at home, although this is an emerging smart technology that is rapidly evolving.