Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    The effect of biomechanical foot-based interventions on patellofemoral joint loads during gait in adults with and without patellofemoral pain or osteoarthritis: a systematic review protocol
    Kayll, SAA ; Hinman, RSS ; Bennell, KLL ; Bryant, ALL ; Rowe, PLL ; Paterson, KLL (BMC, 2022-12-13)
    BACKGROUND: Patellofemoral pain is highly prevalent across the lifespan, and a significant proportion of people report unfavourable outcomes years after diagnosis. Previous research has implicated patellofemoral joint loading during gait in patellofemoral pain and its sequelae, patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Biomechanical foot-based interventions (e.g., footwear, insoles, orthotics, taping or bracing) can alter patellofemoral joint loads by reducing motions at the foot that increase compression between the patella and underlying femur via coupling mechanisms, making them a promising treatment option. This systematic review will summarise the evidence about the effect of biomechanical foot-based interventions on patellofemoral joint loads during gait in adults with and without patellofemoral pain and osteoarthritis. METHODS: MEDLINE (Ovid), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature CINAHL, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), SPORTdiscus (EBSCO) and Embase (Ovid) will be searched. Our search strategy will include terms related to 'patellofemoral joint', 'loads' and 'biomechanical foot-based interventions'. We will include studies published in the English language that assess the effect of biomechanical foot-based interventions on patellofemoral joint loads, quantified by patellofemoral joint pressure, patellofemoral joint reaction force and/or knee flexion moment. Two reviewers will independently screen titles and abstracts, complete full-text reviews, and extract data from included studies. Two reviewers will assess study quality using the Revised Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB 2) tool or the Cochrane Risk Of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies - of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool. We will provide a synthesis of the included studies' characteristics and results. If three or more studies are sufficiently similar in population and intervention, we will pool the data to conduct a meta-analysis and report findings as standardised mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. If a meta-analysis cannot be performed, we will conduct a narrative synthesis of the results and produce forest plots for individual studies. DISCUSSION: This protocol outlines the methods of a systematic review that will determine the effect of biomechanical foot-based interventions on patellofemoral joint loads. Our findings will inform clinical practice by identifying biomechanical foot-based interventions that reduce or increase patellofemoral joint loads, which may aid the treatment of adults with patellofemoral pain and osteoarthritis. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered with PROSPERO on the 4th of May 2022 (CRD42022315207).
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    A Randomised Controlled Trial of YOGa and Strengthening Exercise for Knee OsteoArthritis: Protocol for a Comparative Effectiveness Trial (YOGA Trial).
    Singh, A ; Aitken, D ; Moonaz, S ; Palmer, AJ ; Blizzard, L ; Ding, C ; Drummen, S ; Jones, G ; Bennell, K ; Antony, B (MDPI AG, 2022-10-12)
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disorder for which there is no cure. Current treatments are suboptimal. Exercise is a core treatment for knee OA, with muscle strengthening exercise commonly recommended. Yoga is a mind-body exercise intervention that can improve flexibility, muscle strength, balance, and fitness and potentially reduce symptoms of OA. However, there is a scarcity of robust, high-quality conclusive evidence on the efficacy of yoga in knee OA. We are currently conducting the first randomised comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness trial of a yoga program compared with a strengthening exercise program in patients with symptomatic knee OA. This study protocol describes the design and conduct of this trial. The YOGA study is a phase III, single-centre, parallel, superiority, randomised, active-controlled trial which will be conducted in Hobart, Australia. One hundred and twenty-six participants (63 in each arm) aged over 40 years with symptomatic knee OA will be recruited from the community and randomly allocated to receive either a 24-week yoga program (3×/week) or a strengthening exercise program (3×/week). The primary outcome will be change in knee pain over 12 weeks, assessed using a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS). The secondary outcomes include change in knee pain, patient global assessment, physical function, quality of life, gait speed, biomarkers, and others over 12 and 24 weeks. We will also assess whether the presence of neuropathic pain moderates the effects of yoga compared to strengthening exercise. Additional data, such as cost and resource utilization, will be collected for the cost-effectiveness analysis. The primary analysis will be conducted using an intention-to-treat approach. Adverse events will be monitored throughout the study. Once completed, this trial will contribute to the knowledge of whether yoga can be used as a simple, effective, low-cost option for the management of knee OA, thus saving economic costs in the healthcare system.
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    Evaluation of two electronic-rehabilitation programmes for persistent knee pain: protocol for a randomised feasibility trial
    Groves-Williams, D ; McHugh, GA ; Bennell, KL ; Comer, C ; Hensor, EMA ; Conner, M ; Nelligan, RK ; Hinman, RS ; Kingsbury, SR ; Conaghan, PG (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-06-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Persistent, knee pain is a common cause of disability. Education and exercise treatment are advocated in all clinical guidelines; however, the increasing prevalence of persistent knee pain presents challenges for health services regarding appropriate and scalable delivery of these treatments. Digital technologies may help address this, and this trial will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of two electronic-rehabilitation interventions: 'My Knee UK' and 'Group E-Rehab'. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This protocol describes a non-blinded, randomised feasibility trial with three parallel groups. The trial aims to recruit 90 participants (45 years or older) with a history of persistent knee pain consistent with a clinical diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis. Participants will be randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 allocation ratio. The 'My Knee UK' intervention arm will receive a self-directed unsupervised internet-based home exercise programme plus short message service support (targeting exercise behaviour change) for 12 weeks; the 'Group E-Rehab' intervention arm will receive group-based physiotherapist-prescribed home exercises delivered via videoconferencing accompanied by internet-interactive educational sessions for 12 weeks; the control arm will receive usual physiotherapy care or continue with their usual self-management (depending on their recruitment path). Feasibility variables, patient-reported outcomes and clinical findings measured at baseline, 3 and 9 months will be assessed and integrated with qualitative interview data from a subset of Group E-Rehab and My Knee UK participants. If considered feasible and acceptable, a definitive randomised controlled trial can be conducted to investigate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of one or both interventions with a view to implementation in routine care. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The trial was approved by the West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee 5 (Reference: 20/WS/0006). The results of the study will be disseminated to study participants, the study grant funder and will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN15564385.
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    Exploring experiences with telehealth-delivered allied healthcare services for people with permanent and significant disabilities funded through a national insurance scheme: a qualitative study examining challenges and suggestions to improve services
    Filbay, S ; Bennell, KL ; Morello, R ; Smith, L ; Hinman, RS ; Lawford, BJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: In people with a disability, or their caregivers, who reported suboptimal experiences, the objectives were to explore: (1) challenges with telehealth-delivered allied health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) suggestions to improve such services. DESIGN: Qualitative study based on an interpretivist paradigm and a phenomenological approach. SETTING: Participants who accessed allied healthcare via telehealth during the pandemic. PARTICIPANTS: Data saturation was achieved after 12 interviews. The sample comprised three people with permanent or significant disabilities, and nine carers/partners/family members of people with permanent or significant disabilities, who were funded by the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme and had suboptimal experiences with telehealth. Semistructured one-on-one interviews explored experiences with telehealth and suggestions on how such services could be improved. An inductive thematic analysis was performed. RESULTS: Six themes relating to the first study objective (challenges with telehealth) were developed: (1) evoked behavioural issues in children; (2) reliant on caregiver facilitation; (3) inhibits clinician feedback; (4) difficulty building rapport and trust; (5) lack of access to resources and (6) children disengaged/distracted. Five themes relating to the second study objective (suggestions to improve telehealth services) were developed: (1) establish expectations; (2) increase exposure to telehealth; (3) assess suitability of specific services; (4) access to support workers and (5) prepare for telehealth sessions. CONCLUSIONS: Some people with permanent and significant disabilities who accessed allied healthcare via telehealth during the pandemic experienced challenges, particularly children. These unique barriers to telehealth need customised solutions so that people with disabilities are not left behind when telehealth services become more mainstream. Increasing experience with telehealth, setting expectations before consultations, supplying resources for therapy and assessing the suitability of clients for telehealth may help overcome some of the challenges experienced.
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    Exercise adherence Mobile app for Knee Osteoarthritis: protocol for the MappKO randomised controlled trial
    Hinman, RS ; Nelligan, RK ; Campbell, PK ; Kimp, AJ ; Graham, B ; Merolli, M ; McManus, F ; Lamb, KE ; Bennell, KL (BMC, 2022-09-20)
    BACKGROUND: In people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), ongoing exercise participation, particularly with strengthening exercises, is central to management. Patient adherence to prescribed exercise typically declines once consultations with a clinician have ceased. Mobile applications (apps) can incorporate behaviour change techniques that may assist adherence, potentially optimising clinical outcomes. METHODS: This is a two-arm, pragmatic, superiority randomised trial. One hundred and eighty two Australians with chronic knee pain (clinical knee OA) and who have at least a mild level of physical dysfunction are being recruited. Participants are randomly allocated i) exercise (physiotherapist-prescribed exercise) or; ii) exercise plus app (physiotherapist-prescribed exercise plus access to the 'My Exercise Messages' mobile app). Exercise care comprises two videoconferencing consultations with a physiotherapist over two weeks (30 min each) for a strengthening exercise program, which is then conducted independently at home for 24 weeks without any further physiotherapist consultations. Participants are also provided with exercise resources to facilitate home-based exercise. Those randomised to exercise plus app will download the app after completing the two weeks of physiotherapy consultations and will be instructed by research staff to use the app for the 24 weeks of unsupervised home-based exercises. The app works by tracking completion of weekly exercise sessions, providing regular messages to facilitate weekly exercise and providing personalised messages to help overcome individual barriers to exercise participation. The two primary outcomes are i) self-reported physical function; and ii) number of days strengthening exercises were performed (previous fortnight), with a primary endpoint of 26 weeks and a secondary endpoint of 14 weeks. Secondary outcomes include knee pain severity; knee-related quality of life; global change; exercise program satisfaction; exercise self-efficacy; physical activity; sport and recreation function; another measure of exercise adherence; and willingness to undergo joint replacement. Process measures are also included. DISCUSSION: Findings will determine if a theory-informed mobile app improves exercise adherence and physical function in people with knee OA who have received a home-based strengthening program. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12621000724875. Prospectively registered 9/06/2021.
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    Effect of motion control versus neutral walking footwear on pain associated with lateral tibiofemoral joint osteoarthritis: a comparative effectiveness randomised clinical trial
    Paterson, KL ; Bennell, KL ; Metcalf, BR ; Campbell, PK ; McManus, F ; Lamb, KE ; Hinman, RS (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-09-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To determine if motion control walking shoes are superior to neutral walking shoes in reducing knee pain on walking in people with lateral knee osteoarthritis (OA). DESIGN: Participant-blinded and assessor-blinded, comparative effectiveness, superiority randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Melbourne, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: People with symptomatic radiographic lateral tibiofemoral OA from the community and our volunteer database. INTERVENTION: Participants were randomised to receive either motion control or neutral shoes and advised to wear them >6 hours/day over 6 months. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was change in average knee pain on walking over the previous week (11-point Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), 0-10) at 6 months. The secondary outcomes included other measures of knee pain, physical function, quality of life, participant-perceived change in pain and function, and physical activity. RESULTS: We planned to recruit 110 participants (55 per arm) but ceased recruitment at 40 (n=18 motion control shoes, n=22 neutral shoes) due to COVID-19-related impacts. All 40 participants completed 6-month outcomes. There was no evidence that motion control shoes were superior to neutral shoes for the primary outcome of pain (mean between-group difference 0.4 NRS units, 95% CI -1.0 to 1.7) nor for any secondary outcome. The number of participants experiencing any adverse events was similar between groups (motion control shoes: n=5, 28%; neutral shoes: n=4, 18.2%) and were minor. CONCLUSIONS: Motion control shoes were not superior to neutral shoes in improving knee pain on walking in symptomatic radiographic lateral tibiofemoral joint OA. Further research is needed to identify effective treatments in this important but under-researched knee OA subgroup. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12618001864213.
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    Effectiveness of a telehealth physiotherapist-delivered intensive dietary weight loss program combined with exercise in people with knee osteoarthritis and overweight or obesity: study protocol for the POWER randomized controlled trial
    Bennell, KL ; Jones, SE ; Hinman, RS ; McManus, F ; Lamb, KE ; Quicke, JG ; Sumithran, P ; Prendergast, J ; George, ES ; Holden, MA ; Foster, NE ; Allison, K (BMC, 2022-07-30)
    BACKGROUND: Obesity is associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Weight loss, alongside exercise, is a recommended treatment for individuals with knee OA and overweight/obesity. However, many patients cannot access weight loss specialists such as dietitians. Innovative care models expanding roles of other clinicians may increase access to weight loss support for people with knee OA. Physiotherapists may be well placed to deliver such support. This two-group parallel, superiority randomized controlled trial aims to compare a physiotherapist-delivered diet and exercise program to an exercise program alone, over 6 months. The primary hypothesis is that the physiotherapist-delivered diet plus exercise program will lead to greater weight loss than the exercise program. METHODS: 88 participants with painful knee OA and body mass index (BMI) > 27 kg/m2 will be recruited from the community. Following baseline assessment, participants will be randomised to either exercise alone or diet plus exercise groups. Participants in the exercise group will have 6 consultations (20-30 min) via videoconference with a physiotherapist over 6 months for a strengthening exercise program, physical activity plan and educational/exercise resources. Participants in the diet plus exercise group will have 6 consultations (50-75 min) via videoconference with a physiotherapist prescribing a ketogenic very low-calorie diet with meal replacements and educational resources to support weight loss and healthy eating, plus the intervention of the exercise only group. Outcomes are measured at baseline and 6 months. The primary outcome is percentage change in body weight measured by a blinded assessor. Secondary outcomes include self-reported knee pain, physical function, global change in knee problems, quality of life, physical activity levels, and internalised weight stigma, as well as BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, physical performance measures and quadriceps strength, measured by a blinded assessor. Additional measures include adherence, adverse events, fidelity and process measures. DISCUSSION: This trial will determine whether a physiotherapist-delivered diet plus exercise program is more effective for weight loss than an exercise only program. Findings will inform the development and implementation of innovative health service models addressing weight management and exercise for patients with knee OA and overweight/obesity. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NIH US National Library of Medicine, Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04733053 (Feb 1 2021).
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    The AktiWeb study: feasibility of a web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation to patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis
    Joseph, KL ; Dagfinrud, H ; Hagen, KB ; Norden, KR ; Fongen, C ; Wold, O-M ; Hinman, RS ; Nelligan, RK ; Bennell, KL ; Tveter, AT (BMC, 2022-07-20)
    BACKGROUND: Patient organisations may be an under-utilised resource in follow-up of patients requiring long-term exercise as part of their disease management. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of a web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation to patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: In this pre-post feasibility study, patients aged 40-80 years with hip and/or knee OA were recruited from Diakonhjemmet Hospital. The 12-week intervention was delivered through a patient organisation's digital platform. Feasibility was evaluated by proportion of eligible patients enrolled, proportion of enrolled patients who provided valid accelerometer data at baseline, and proportion completing the cardiorespiratory exercise test according to protocol at baseline and completed follow-up assessments. Patient acceptability was evaluated for website usability, satisfaction with the initial exercise level and comprehensibility of the exercise program. Change in clinical outcomes were assessed for physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and patient-reported variables. RESULTS: In total, 49 eligible patients were identified and 35 were enrolled. Thirty (86%) of these attended baseline assessments and provided valid accelerometer data and 18 (51%) completed the maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test according to protocol. Twenty-two (63%) patients completed the follow-up questionnaire, and they rated the website usability as 'acceptable' [median 77.5 out of 100 (IQR 56.9, 85.6)], 19 (86%) reported that the initial exercise level was 'just right' and 18 (82%) that the exercise program was 'very easy' or 'quite easy' to comprehend. Improvement in both moderate to vigorous physical activity (mean change 16.4 min/day; 95% CI 6.9 to 25.9) and cardiorespiratory fitness, VO2peak (mean change 1.83 ml/kg/min; 95% CI 0.29 to 3.36) were found in a subgroup of 8 patients completing these tests. Across all patient-reported outcomes 24-52% of the patients had a meaningful improvement (n = 22). CONCLUSION: A web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation was found to be feasible and acceptable in patients with hip and/or knee OA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04084834 (registered 10 September 2019). The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics south-east, 2018/2198. URL: Prosjekt #632074 - Aktiv med web-basert støtte. - Cristin (registered 7 June 2019).
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    An international core capability framework for physiotherapists delivering telephone-based care
    Davies, L ; Hinman, RS ; Russell, T ; Lawford, B ; Bennell, K (AUSTRALIAN PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSOC, 2022-04-22)
    QUESTION: What are the core capabilities that physiotherapists need in order to deliver quality telephone-based care? DESIGN: Three-round modified e-Delphi survey. PARTICIPANTS: An international Delphi panel comprising experts in the field, including consumers, physiotherapy researchers, physiotherapy clinicians and representatives of physiotherapy organisations. METHODS: A modified e-Delphi survey was conducted. A draft framework was adapted from a previously developed core capability framework for physiotherapists delivering care via videoconferencing. The panel considered the draft framework of 39 individual capabilities across six domains. Over three rounds, panellists rated their agreement (via Likert or 0-to-10 numerical rating scales) on whether each capability was essential (core) for physiotherapists to deliver telephone-based care. Capabilities achieving consensus, defined as 75% of the panel rating the item at least 7 out of 10 in Round 3, were retained. RESULTS: Seventy-one panellists from 17 countries participated in Round 1, with retention of 89% in Round 2 and 82% in Round 3. The final framework comprised 44 capabilities across six domains: compliance (n = 7 capabilities); patient privacy and confidentiality (n = 4); patient safety (n = 7); telehealth delivery (n = 9); assessment and diagnosis (n = 7); and care planning and management (n = 10). CONCLUSION: This framework outlines the core capabilities that physiotherapists need to provide telephone-based care. It can help inform content of physiotherapy curricula and professional development initiatives in telehealth delivery and provide guidance for physiotherapists providing care over the telephone.
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    Patient-Facing Mobile Apps to Support Physiotherapy Care: Protocol for a Systematic Review of Apps Within App Stores
    Merolli, M ; Francis, JJ ; Vallance, P ; Bennell, KL ; Malliaras, P ; Hinman, RS (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2021-12-01)
    BACKGROUND: Care delivered by physiotherapists aims to facilitate engagement in positive health behaviors by patients (eg, adherence to exercise). However, research suggests that behavioral interventions are frequently omitted from care. Hence, better understanding of strategies that can be used by physiotherapists to support patients to engage in positive behaviors is important and likely to optimize outcomes. Digital health interventions delivered via mobile apps are garnering attention for their ability to support behavior change. They have potential to incorporate numerous behavior change techniques (BCTs) to support goals of physiotherapy care, including but not limited to self-monitoring, goal setting, and prompts/alerts. Despite their potential to support physiotherapy care, much is still unknown about what apps are available to consumers, the BCTs they use, their quality, and their potential to change behaviors. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study is to systematically review the mobile apps available in app stores that are intended for use by patients to support physiotherapy care, including the BCTs within these apps. The secondary aims are to evaluate the quality and behavior change potential of these apps. METHODS: A systematic review of mobile apps in app stores will be undertaken. This will be guided by recommendations for systematic reviews in line with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement but adapted to suit our app store search, consistent with similar systematic reviews of apps published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Apple Store and Google Play will be searched with a two-step search strategy, using terms relevant to physiotherapy, physiotherapists, and common physiotherapy care. Key eligibility criteria will include apps that are intended for use by patients and are self-contained or stand-alone without the need of additional wearable devices or other add-ons. Included apps will be coded for BCTs and rated for quality using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) and for potential to change behavior using the App Behavior Change Scale (ABACUS). RESULTS: App store search and screening are expected to be completed in 2021. Data extraction and quality appraisal are expected to commence by November 2021. The study results are expected to be published in a subsequent paper in 2022. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge gained from this review will support clinical practice and inform research by providing a greater understanding of the quality of currently available mobile apps and their potential to support patient behavior change goals of physiotherapy care. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/29047.