Physiotherapy - Research Publications
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ItemInertia Sensors for Measuring Spasticity of the Ankle Plantarflexors Using the Modified Tardieu Scale-A Proof of Concept Study.Banky, M ; Williams, G ; Davey, R ; Tirosh, O (MDPI AG, 2022-07-09)Ankle spasticity is clinically assessed using goniometry to measure the angle of muscle reaction during the Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS). The precision of the goniometric method is questionable as the measured angle may not represent when the spastic muscle reaction occurred. This work proposes a method to accurately determine the angle of muscle reaction during the MTS assessment by measuring the maximum angular velocity and the corresponding ankle joint angle, using two affordable inertial sensors. Initially we identified the association between muscle onset and peak joint angular velocity using surface electromyography and an inertial sensor. The maximum foot angular velocity occurred 0.049 and 0.032 s following the spastic muscle reaction for Gastrocnemius and Soleus, respectively. Next, we explored the use of two affordable inertial sensors to identify the angle of muscle reaction using the peak ankle angular velocity. The angle of muscle reaction and the maximum dorsiflexion angle were significantly different for both Gastrocnemius and Soleus MTS tests (p = 0.028 and p = 0.009, respectively), indicating that the system is able to accurately detect a spastic muscle response before the end of the movement. This work successfully demonstrates how wearable technology can be used in a clinical setting to identify the onset of muscle spasticity and proposes a more accurate method that clinicians can use to measure the angle of muscle reaction during the MTS assessment. Furthermore, the proposed method may provide an opportunity to monitor the degree of spasticity where the direct help of experienced therapists is inaccessible, e.g., in rural or remote areas.
ItemCLINICAL SPASTICITY ASSESSMENT USING THE MODIFIED TARDIEU SCALE DOES NOT REFLECT JOINT ANGULAR VELOCITY OR RANGE OF MOTION DURING WALKING: ASSESSMENT TOOL IMPLICATIONSBanky, 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.
ItemCan adults with cerebral palsy perform and benefit from ballistic strength training to improve walking outcomes? A mixed methods feasibility studyGjesdal, 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.
ItemNo Preview AvailableKits for wearable sensor systems: exploring software and hardware system design, building guides, and opportunities for clinical rehabilitationClark, RA ; Thilarajah, S ; Williams, G ; Kahn, M ; Heywood, S ; Tan, HH ; Hough, EJ ; Pua, Y ; Godfrey, A ; Stuart, S (Academic Press, 2021)
ItemConsumer experience of a flexible exercise participation program (FEPP) for individuals with multiple sclerosis: A mixed-methods studySmith, 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.
ItemReliability 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.