Physiotherapy - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 391
Are we armed with the right data? Pooled individual data review of biomarkers in people with severe upper limb impairment after stroke
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2017-01-01)
To build an understanding of the neurobiology underpinning arm recovery in people with severe arm impairment due to stroke, we conducted a pooled individual data systematic review to: 1) characterize brain biomarkers; 2) determine relationship(s) between biomarkers and motor outcome; and 3) establish relationship(s) between biomarkers and motor recovery. Three electronic databases were searched up to October 2, 2015. Eligible studies included adults with severe arm impairment after stroke. Descriptive statistics were calculated to characterize brain biomarkers, and pooling of individual patient data was performed using mixed-effects linear regression to examine relationships between brain biomarkers and motor outcome and recovery. Thirty-eight articles including individual data from 372 people with severe arm impairment were analysed. The majority of individuals were in the chronic (> 6 months) phase post stroke (51%) and had a subcortical stroke (49%). The presence of a motor evoked potential (indexed by transcranial magnetic stimulation) was the only biomarker related to better motor outcome (p = 0.02). There was no relationship between motor outcome and stroke volume (cm3), location (cortical, subcortical, mixed) or side (left vs. right), and corticospinal tract asymmetry index (extracted from diffusion weighted imaging). Only one study had longitudinal data, thus no data pooling was possible to address change over time (preventing our third objective). Based on the available evidence, motor evoked potentials at rest were the only biomarker that predicted motor outcome in individuals with severe arm impairment following stroke. Given that few biomarkers emerged, this review highlights the need to move beyond currently known biomarkers and identify new indices with sufficient variability and sensitivity to guide recovery models in individuals with severe motor impairments following stroke. PROSPERO: CRD42015026107.
Assessment of Lower Limb Muscle Strength and Power Using Hand-Held and Fixed Dynamometry: A Reliability and Validity Study
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2015-10-28)
INTRODUCTION: Hand-held dynamometry (HHD) has never previously been used to examine isometric muscle power. Rate of force development (RFD) is often used for muscle power assessment, however no consensus currently exists on the most appropriate method of calculation. The aim of this study was to examine the reliability of different algorithms for RFD calculation and to examine the intra-rater, inter-rater, and inter-device reliability of HHD as well as the concurrent validity of HHD for the assessment of isometric lower limb muscle strength and power. METHODS: 30 healthy young adults (age: 23±5 yrs, male: 15) were assessed on two sessions. Isometric muscle strength and power were measured using peak force and RFD respectively using two HHDs (Lafayette Model-01165 and Hoggan microFET2) and a criterion-reference KinCom dynamometer. Statistical analysis of reliability and validity comprised intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), Pearson correlations, concordance correlations, standard error of measurement, and minimal detectable change. RESULTS: Comparison of RFD methods revealed that a peak 200 ms moving window algorithm provided optimal reliability results. Intra-rater, inter-rater, and inter-device reliability analysis of peak force and RFD revealed mostly good to excellent reliability (coefficients ≥ 0.70) for all muscle groups. Concurrent validity analysis showed moderate to excellent relationships between HHD and fixed dynamometry for the hip and knee (ICCs ≥ 0.70) for both peak force and RFD, with mostly poor to good results shown for the ankle muscles (ICCs = 0.31-0.79). CONCLUSIONS: Hand-held dynamometry has good to excellent reliability and validity for most measures of isometric lower limb strength and power in a healthy population, particularly for proximal muscle groups. To aid implementation we have created freely available software to extract these variables from data stored on the Lafayette device. Future research should examine the reliability and validity of these variables in clinical populations.
The effects of a free-weight-based resistance training intervention on pain, squat biomechanics and MRI-defined lumbar fat infiltration and functional cross-sectional area in those with chronic low back.
BACKGROUND: Low back pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions in the world. Many exercise treatment options exist but few interventions have utilised free-weight resistance training. To investigate the effects of a free-weight-based resistance training intervention on pain and lumbar fat infiltration in those with chronic low back pain. METHODS: Thirty participants entered the study, 11 females (age=39.6±12.4 years, height=164 cm±5.3 cm, body mass=70.9±8.2 kg,) and 19 males (age=39.7±9.7 years, height=179±5.9 cm, body mass=86.6±15.9 kg). A 16-week, progressive, free-weight-based resistance training intervention was used. Participants completed three training sessions per week. Participants completed a Visual Analogue Pain Scale, Oswestry Disability Index and Euro-Qol V2 quality of life measure at baseline and every 4 weeks throughout the study. Three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic measures were used for biomechanical analysis of a bodyweight squat movement. Maximum strength was measured using an isometric mid-thigh pull, and lumbar paraspinal endurance was measured using a Biering-Sorensen test. Lumbar paraspinal fat infiltration was measured preintervention and postintervention using MRIs. RESULTS: Postintervention pain, disability and quality of life were all significantly improved. In addition, there was a significant reduction in fat infiltration at the L3L4 and L4L5 levels and increase in lumbar extension time to exhaustion of 18%. CONCLUSIONS: A free-weight-based resistance training intervention can be successfully utilised to improve pain, disability and quality of life in those with low back pain.
Interhemispheric Pathways Are Important for Motor Outcome in Individuals with Chronic and Severe Upper Limb Impairment Post Stroke
(HINDAWI LTD, 2017-01-01)
Background: Severity of arm impairment alone does not explain motor outcomes in people with severe impairment post stroke. Objective: Define the contribution of brain biomarkers to upper limb motor outcomes in people with severe arm impairment post stroke. Methods: Paretic arm impairment (Fugl-Meyer upper limb, FM-UL) and function (Wolf Motor Function Test rate, WMFT-rate) were measured in 15 individuals with severe (FM-UL ≤ 30/66) and 14 with mild-moderate (FM-UL > 40/66) impairment. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and diffusion weight imaging indexed structure and function of the corticospinal tract and corpus callosum. Separate models of the relationship between possible biomarkers and motor outcomes at a single chronic (≥6 months) time point post stroke were performed. Results: Age (ΔR20.365, p = 0.017) and ipsilesional-transcallosal inhibition (ΔR20.182, p = 0.048) explained a 54.7% (p = 0.009) variance in paretic WMFT-rate. Prefrontal corpus callous fractional anisotropy (PF-CC FA) alone explained 49.3% (p = 0.007) variance in FM-UL outcome. The same models did not explain significant variance in mild-moderate stroke. In the severe group, k-means cluster analysis of PF-CC FA distinguished two subgroups, separated by a clinically meaningful and significant difference in motor impairment (p = 0.049) and function (p = 0.006) outcomes. Conclusion: Corpus callosum function and structure were identified as possible biomarkers of motor outcome in people with chronic and severe arm impairment.
Validation and inter-rater reliability of a three item falls risk screening tool
BACKGROUND: Falls screening tools are routinely used in hospital settings and the psychometric properties of tools should be examined in the setting in which they are used. The aim of this study was to explore the concurrent and predictive validity of the Austin Health Falls Risk Screening Tool (AHFRST), compared with The Northern Hospital Modified St Thomas's Risk Assessment Tool (TNH-STRATIFY), and the inter-rater reliability of the AHFRST. METHODS: A research physiotherapist used the AHFRST and TNH-STRATIFY to classify 130 participants admitted to Austin Health (five acute wards, n = 115 two subacute wards n = 15; median length of stay 6 days IQR 3-12) as 'High' or 'Low' falls risk. The AHFRST was also completed by nursing staff on patient admission. Falls data was collected from the hospital incident reporting system. RESULTS: Six falls occurred during the study period (fall rate of 4.6 falls per 1000 bed days). There was substantial agreement between the AHFRST and the TNH-STRATIFY (Kappa = 0.68, 95% CI 0.52-0.78). Both tools had poor predictive validity, with low specificity (AHFRST 46.0%, 95% CI 37.0-55.1; TNH-STRATIFY 34.7%, 95% CI 26.4-43.7) and positive predictive values (AHFRST 5.6%, 95% CI 1.6-13.8; TNH-STRATIFY 6.9%, 95% CI 2.6-14.4). The AHFRST showed moderate inter-rater reliability (Kappa = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.36-0.67, p < 0.001) although 18 patients did not have the AHFRST completed by nursing staff. CONCLUSIONS: There was an acceptable level of agreement between the 3 item AHFRST classification of falls risk and the longer, 9 item TNH-STRATIFY classification. However, both tools demonstrated limited predictive validity in the Austin Health population. The results highlight the importance of evaluating the validity of falls screening tools, and the clinical utility of these tools should be reconsidered.
Efficacy of combined conservative therapies on clinical outcomes in patients with thumb base osteoarthritis: protocol for a randomised, controlled trial (COMBO)
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: Management of thumb base osteoarthritis (OA) using a combination of therapies is common in clinical practice; however, evidence for the efficacy of this approach is lacking. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of a combination of conservative therapies for the treatment of thumb base OA compared with an education control group. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a randomised, controlled, single-centre, two-arm superiority trial with 1:1 allocation ratio; with assessor and statistician blinded. Participants are blinded to the trial's hypothesis and to the interventions received by the opposite group. A total of 204 participants will be recruited from the community and randomised using a computer-generated schedule. The intervention group will receive education for joint protection and OA, a splint for the base of the thumb, hand exercises and topical diclofenac sodium 1% gel over 6 weeks. The control group will receive education for joint protection and OA alone. Main inclusion criteria are pain ≥40 mm (Visual Analogue Scale, 0-100) at the base of the thumb, impairment in hand function ≥6 (Functional Index for Hand Osteoarthritis, 0-30) and radiographic thumb base OA (Kellgren Lawrence grade ≥2). Participants currently receiving any of the intervention components will be excluded. Outcomes will be measured at 2, 6 and 12 weeks. The primary outcome is change in pain and hand function from baseline to 6 weeks. Other outcomes include changes in grip and pinch strength, quality of life, presence of joint swelling and tenderness, duration of joint stiffness, patient's global assessment and use of rescue medication. Analysis will be performed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Adverse events will be monitored throughout the study. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This protocol is approved by the local ethics committee (HREC/15/HAWKE/479). Dissemination will occur through presentations at international conferences and publication in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12616000353493; Pre-results.
STROKOG (stroke and cognition consortium): An international consortium to examine the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocognitive disorders in relation to cerebrovascular disease.
INTRODUCTION: The Stroke and Cognition consortium (STROKOG) aims to facilitate a better understanding of the determinants of vascular contributions to cognitive disorders and help improve the diagnosis and treatment of vascular cognitive disorders (VCD). METHODS: Longitudinal studies with ≥75 participants who had suffered or were at risk of stroke or TIA and which evaluated cognitive function were invited to join STROKOG. The consortium will facilitate projects investigating rates and patterns of cognitive decline, risk factors for VCD, and biomarkers of vascular dementia. RESULTS: Currently, STROKOG includes 25 (21 published) studies, with 12,092 participants from five continents. The duration of follow-up ranges from 3 months to 21 years. DISCUSSION: Although data harmonization will be a key challenge, STROKOG is in a unique position to reuse and combine international cohort data and fully explore patient level characteristics and outcomes. STROKOG could potentially transform our understanding of VCD and have a worldwide impact on promoting better vascular cognitive outcomes.
Lymph node yield in node-negative patients predicts cancer specific survival following radical cystectomy for transitional cell carcinoma
(KOREAN UROLOGICAL ASSOC, 2017-11-01)
Purpose: To determine the oncological implications of increased nodal dissection in node-negative bladder cancer during radical cystectomy in a contemporary Australian series. Materials and Methods: We performed a multicenter retrospective study, including more than 40 surgeons across 5 sites over a 10-year period. We identified 353 patients with primary bladder cancer undergoing radical cystectomy. Extent of lymphadenectomy was defined as follows; limited pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) (perivesical, pelvic, and obturator), standard PLND (internal and external iliac) and extended PLND (common iliac). Multivariable cox proportional hazards and logistic regression models were used to determine LNY effect on cancer-specific survival. Results: Over the study period, the extent of dissection and lymph node yield increased considerably. In node-negative patients, lymph node yield (LNY) conferred a significantly improved cancer-specific survival. Compared to cases where LNY of 1 to 5 nodes were taken, the hazard ratio (HR) for 6 to 15 nodes harvested was 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-1.39) and for greater than 15 nodes the HR was 0.31 (95% CI, 0.17-0.57), adjusted for age, sex, T stage, margin status, and year of surgery. The predicted probability of cancer-specific death within 2 years of cystectomy was 16% (95% CI, 13%-19%) with 10 nodes harvested, falling to 5.5% (95% CI, 0%-12%) with 30 nodes taken. Increasing harvest in all PLND templates conferred a survival benefit. Conclusions: The findings of the current study highlight the improved oncological outcomes with increased LNY, irrespective of the dissection template. Further prospective research is needed to aid LND data interpretation.
Exercise training alone or with the addition of activity counseling improves physical activity levels in COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
(DOVE MEDICAL PRESS LTD, 2016-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is associated with poor outcomes in COPD, and as a result, interventions to improve physical activity (PA) are a current research focus. However, many trials have been small and inconclusive. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to study the effects of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) targeting PA in COPD. METHODS: Databases (Physiotherapy Evidence Database [PEDro], Embase, MEDLINE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials) were searched using the following keywords: "COPD", "intervention" and "physical activity" from inception to May 20, 2016; published RCTs that aimed to increase PA in individuals with COPD were included. The PEDro scale was used to rate study quality. Standardized mean differences (effect sizes, ESs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were determined. Effects of included interventions were also measured according to the minimal important difference (MID) in daily steps for COPD (599 daily steps). RESULTS: A total of 37 RCTs with 4,314 participants (mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) % predicted 50.5 [SD=10.4]) were identified. Interventions including exercise training (ET; n=3 studies, 103 participants) significantly increased PA levels in COPD compared to standard care (ES [95% CI]; 0.84 [0.44-1.25]). The addition of activity counseling to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR; n=4 studies, 140 participants) showed important effects on PA levels compared to PR alone (0.47 [0.02-0.92]), achieving significant increases that exceeded the MID for daily steps in COPD (mean difference [95% CI], 1,452 daily steps [549-2,356]). Reporting of methodological quality was poor in most included RCTs. CONCLUSION: Interventions that included ET and PA counseling during PR were effective strategies to improve PA in COPD.
Identifying clusters of falls-related hospital admissions to inform population targets for prioritising falls prevention programmes.
BACKGROUND: There has been limited research investigating the relationship between injurious falls and hospital resource use. The aims of this study were to identify clusters of community-dwelling older people in the general population who are at increased risk of being admitted to hospital following a fall and how those clusters differed in their use of hospital resources. METHODS: Analysis of routinely collected hospital admissions data relating to 45 374 fall-related admissions in Victorian community-dwelling older adults aged ≥65 years that occurred during 2008/2009 to 2010/2011. Fall-related admission episodes were identified based on being admitted from a private residence to hospital with a principal diagnosis of injury (International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10-AM codes S00 to T75) and having a first external cause of a fall (ICD-10-AM codes W00 to W19). A cluster analysis was performed to identify homogeneous groups using demographic details of patients and information on the presence of comorbidities. Hospital length of stay (LOS) was compared across clusters using competing risks regression. RESULTS: Clusters based on area of residence, demographic factors (age, gender, marital status, country of birth) and the presence of comorbidities were identified. Clusters representing hospitalised fallers with comorbidities were associated with longer LOS compared with other cluster groups. Clusters delineated by demographic factors were also associated with increased LOS. CONCLUSIONS: All patients with comorbidity, and older women without comorbidities, stay in hospital longer following a fall and hence consume a disproportionate share of hospital resources. These findings have important implications for the targeting of falls prevention interventions for community-dwelling older people.
A protocol for evidence-based targeting and evaluation of statewide strategies for preventing falls among community-dwelling older people in Victoria, Australia
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2011-04-01)
BACKGROUND: Falls are a significant threat to the safety, health and independence of older citizens. Despite the now substantial evidence about effective falls prevention interventions, translation into falls reductions has not yet been fully realised. While the hip fracture rate is decreasing, the number and rate of fall-related hospital admissions among older people is increasing. The challenge now is to deliver the most effective interventions efficiently at a population level, and for these interventions to be taken up by older people. OBJECTIVE: To support the development, and evaluation of, effective falls prevention policy and practice in the state of Victoria, Australia. METHODS: The RE-AIM model (Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) was used to identify strategies for an effective programme. Research objectives were developed to support the strategies. These include: (1) identification of subgroups of older people most frequently admitted to hospital for falls; (2) examining the acceptability of established falls interventions; (3) identification of factors that encourage and support relevant lifestyle changes; (4) identifying opportunities to incorporate confirmed interventions in existing programmes and services; (5) developing guidelines for sustainability. The research results will subsequently guide strategy details for the falls prevention plan. RE-AIM will provide the framework for the evaluation structure. OUTCOME MEASURES MEASURES: to monitor the implementation of the selected interventions will be determined for each intervention, based on the five key factors of the RE-AIM model. The overall effect of the falls prevention plan will be monitored by time series analysis of fall-related hospital admission rates for community-dwelling older people.
Relationships Between Tibiofemoral Contact Forces and Cartilage Morphology at 2 to 3 Years After Single-Bundle Hamstring Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction and in Healthy Knees
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2017-08-31)
BACKGROUND: Prevention of knee osteoarthritis (OA) following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and reconstruction is vital. Risk of postreconstruction knee OA is markedly increased by concurrent meniscal injury. It is unclear whether reconstruction results in normal relationships between tibiofemoral contact forces and cartilage morphology and whether meniscal injury modulates these relationships. HYPOTHESES: Since patients with isolated reconstructions (ie, without meniscal injury) are at lower risk for knee OA, we predicted that relationships between tibiofemoral contact forces and cartilage morphology would be similar to those of normal, healthy knees 2 to 3 years postreconstruction. In knees with meniscal injuries, these relationships would be similar to those reported in patients with knee OA, reflecting early degenerative changes. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: Three groups were examined: (1) 62 patients who received single-bundle hamstring reconstruction with an intact, uninjured meniscus (mean age, 29.8 ± 6.4 years; mean weight, 74.9 ± 13.3 kg); (2) 38 patients with similar reconstruction with additional meniscal injury (ie, tear, repair) or partial resection (mean age, 30.6 ± 6.6 years; mean weight, 83.3 ± 14.3 kg); and (3) 30 ligament-normal, healthy individuals (mean age, 28.3 ± 5.2 years; mean weight, 74.9 ± 14.9 kg) serving as controls. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging to measure the medial and lateral tibial articular cartilage morphology (volumes and thicknesses). An electromyography-driven neuromusculoskeletal model determined medial and lateral tibiofemoral contact forces during walking. General linear models were used to assess relationships between tibiofemoral contact forces and cartilage morphology. RESULTS: In control knees, cartilage was thicker compared with that of isolated and meniscal-injured ACL-reconstructed knees, while greater contact forces were related to both greater tibial cartilage volumes (medial: R2 = 0.43, β = 0.62, P = .000; lateral: R2 = 0.19, β = 0.46, P = .03) and medial thicknesses (R2 = 0.24, β = 0.48, P = .01). In the overall group of ACL-reconstructed knees, greater contact forces were related to greater lateral cartilage volumes (R2 = 0.08, β = 0.28, P = .01). In ACL-reconstructed knees with lateral meniscal injury, greater lateral contact forces were related to greater lateral cartilage volumes (R2 = 0.41, β = 0.64, P = .001) and thicknesses (R2 = 0.20, β = 0.46, P = .04). CONCLUSION: At 2 to 3 years postsurgery, ACL-reconstructed knees had thinner cartilage compared with healthy knees, and there were no positive relationships between medial contact forces and cartilage morphology. In lateral meniscal-injured reconstructed knees, greater contact forces were related to greater lateral cartilage volumes and thicknesses, although it was unclear whether this was an adaptive response or associated with degeneration. Future clinical studies may seek to establish whether cartilage morphology can be modified through rehabilitation programs targeting contact forces directly in addition to the current rehabilitation foci of restoring passive and dynamic knee range of motion, knee strength, and functional performance.