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Physiotherapy Research International [journal]
- Ultrasound and Laser as Stand-Alone Therapies for Myofascial Trigger Points: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2014 Jan 2.
Ultrasound (US) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) are commonly employed for myofascial trigger points (MTP) despite lack of evidence for usage as stand-alone treatments. The aim of the study was to determine, on MTP of the upper trapezius muscle (uTM), the effects of US and LLLT per se, as delivered in accordance with the procedures reported by surveys about their usage among physiotherapists.Design was set as a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Sixty participants with at least one active MTP in uTM (28 women and 32 men; mean age 24.5 ± 1.44 years) were recruited and randomly assigned to one out of five groups: active US (n = 12), placebo US (n = 12), active LLLT (n = 11), placebo LLLT (n = 11) and no therapy (control, n = 14). The participants and outcome assessor were blinded to the group assignment and therapy delivered. Three outcome measures were assessed at baseline, after a 2-week treatment and 12 weeks after the end of the intervention (follow-up): pressure pain threshold, subjective pain on a numerical rating scale and muscle extensibility performing a cervical lateral flexion. All subjects assigned to the intervention groups were treated five times weekly for overall 10 treatments given. Two-way ANOVA was used to compare differences before and after intervention and among groups at each time-point.After the 2-week intervention, all groups showed pressure pain threshold, numerical rating scale and cervical lateral flexion significant improvements (p < 0.05), which were confirmed at the follow-up. When performing multiple comparisons, controls scored significantly less than both the active therapies and placebos, whereas no differences were detected between active therapies and placebos.Ultrasound and LLLT provided significant improvements in pain and muscle extensibility, which were superior to no therapy but not to placebos, thus raising concerns about the suitability, both economically and ethically, of administering such common physical modalities as stand-alone treatments in active MTP of the uTM. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Spatiotemporal Gait Parameters for Patients with Parkinson's Disease Compared with Normal Individuals. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 23.
Gait initiation is a major motor problem for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). To understand the gait initiation in patients with PD, fluctuation on the first three steps of initiation was examined METHODS: Force distribution measurement platform was used to record gait initiation in 10 patients with PD and healthy participants. Step length, step time and step width, as well as its coefficient of variation (CV) were investigated RESULTS: The findings demonstrated significant main effect of group on step length (p < 0.001), step time (p = 0.034) and step width (p = 0.002), significant main effect of step on step time (p < 0.001) and step width (p < 0.001). No interaction between group and step (p > 0.05) was found on the variables. Compared with healthy participants, patients with PD showed significantly shorter step length in the first (p < 0.001), second (p = 0.001) and third (p = 0.001) steps and longer step time in the second step (p < 0.001). No difference in CV (p > 0.05) of the variables between groups comparison. Both groups had significant longer step time in the first step compared with the second step (PD, p < 0.001; healthy participants, p < 0.001) and the third steps (PD, p < 0.001; healthy participants, p < 0.001). They demonstrated significant wider step width in the first step when compared with the second step (PD, p = 0.043; healthy participants, p < 0.001) and the third steps (PD, p = 0.002; healthy participants, p < 0.001).Patients with PD showed shorter step length of all steps, longer step time in the second step and similar step width when compared with healthy participants. Among the three steps, both groups demonstrated longer step time and wider step width in the first step when compared with other two step. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- High-Intensity Aerobic Interval Training for Patients 3-9 Months After Stroke. A Feasibility Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 4.
High-intensity aerobic interval training (AIT) has shown to be beneficial in patients with cardiac and pulmonary diseases. Presumably, patients with stroke also benefit from such treatment. However, the feasibility and potential efficacy of high-intensity AIT should be investigated for patients early after stroke.This was a single-group, pre-test-post-test, intervention study. The intervention consisted of a 6-week high-intensity AIT programme, performed twice a week. The AIT comprised 4 × 4-minute intervals, at 85-95% of peak heart rate, interrupted by 3-minute active breaks. Adherence to the protocol, compliance and adverse events were registered to assess feasibility. Cardiorespiratory fitness and functional outcomes were assessed before and after the intervention and at 6 and 12 weeks follow-up.Ten men and five women (mean age 70.0 ± 7.7; range 61-85 years) with mild to moderate stroke were included, 3-9 months after onset. One patient was diagnosed with cancer during follow-up. There were three minor events, but no serious adverse events occurred. All patients accomplished all training sessions and reached the 85% intensity level, except one patient who discontinued the last session. The mean peak oxygen uptake showed no significant improvement from pre-treatment, 28.7 ± 3.8 ml kg(-1) min(-1) , to post-treatment, 29.6 ± 3.6 ml kg(-1) min(-1) , p = 0.189, whereas the mean 6-minute walk test improved from 410.7 ± 101.4 m to 461.0 ± 99.6 m, p = 0.001, and the median (interquartile range) Rivermead Motor Assessment Scale improved from 12.0 (11.0-13.0) to 13.0 (11.0-13.0) points, p = 0.100. These improvements continued after the intervention was concluded.This study has shown that high-intensity AIT is feasible for a selected group of stroke patients. However, the training should be accomplished in line with the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for high-risk populations to ensure safety. The participants achieved a clinically highly significant improvement in walking distance. This intervention should be tested out in a randomized controlled trial to assess if it is superior to other interventions. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Clinical Case Reporting in the Peer-Reviewed Physical Therapy Literature: Time to Move Toward Functioning. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 6.
Physical therapists increasingly are contributing clinical case reports to the health literature, which form the basis for higher quality evidence that has been incorporated into clinical practice guidelines. Yet, few resources exist to assist physical therapists with the basic mechanics and quality standards of producing a clinical case report. This situation is further complicated by the absence of uniform standards for quality in case reporting. The importance of including a concise yet comprehensive description of patient functioning in all physical therapy case reports suggest the potential appropriateness of basing quality guidelines on the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) model. The purpose of this paper is to assist physical therapists in creating high-quality clinical case reports for the peer-reviewed literature using the ICF model as a guiding framework. Along these lines, current recommendations related to the basic mechanics of writing a successful clinical case report are reviewed, as well and a proposal for uniform clinical case reporting requirements is introduced with the aim to improve the quality and feasibility of clinical case reporting in physical therapy that are informed by the ICF model. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Introduction to Special Issue: A Review of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and Physical Therapy over the Years. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 13.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization was developed as a common framework to understand health and to describe the impact of health condition on functioning. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the literature on the use of the ICF in physical therapy practice and research.We performed a scoping-narrative review and searched for relevant English language articles from 2001 to 2012 in multiple databases that included MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed and Physiotherapy Evidence Database. Our keywords for the search consisted of ['physical therapy' OR 'physiotherapy'] AND ['ICF']. All types of articles were considered.We found 268 articles; out of which, 79 were reviewed. The years with most publications were 2011 (n = 16), 2008 (n = 15) and 2010 and 2012 (both with n = 13). Publications mostly came from the United States with 27% of the articles. The journal Physical Therapy leads with almost a third of ICF-related physical therapy publications. The ICF has been mostly used in studies of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. We found a wide array of application of the ICF in research, clinical practice and teaching (classroom and clinical education). Emerging topics included using the ICF in resource allocation and prevention and wellness.The use of the ICF in physical therapy practice and research is promising and continues to evolve. With recent developments in ICF-based measurement and integration in assessment tools for use in the clinics, research and teaching, the need to show the added value of using the ICF in practice and research remains. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- The Otago Exercise Program Performed as Group Training Versus Home Training in Fall-prone Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 11.
Exercise programs targeting muscle strength and balance can reduce falls. The study aimed to compare the Otago Exercise Program (OEP), originally designed as supervised home training (HT), with the same programme performed as GT, on functional balance and muscle strength, mobility, fall efficacy and self-reported health.A single-blind randomized controlled trial with assessments at baseline (T1), following the 12-week intervention (T2), and 3 months following intervention (T3), was performed. 125 people, mean age 82.5 (SD = 5.7) years, 73% women, referred to a Falls Outpatient Clinic, participated. 74% had fallen, and 37% had a fall-related hospital stay during the previous year. OEP supervised by physiotherapists was performed as GT twice weekly or as HT three times a week, for 12 weeks. Total exercise time was comparable between groups. The primary outcome was the Berg Balance Scale assessed at T2.From T1-T2, Berg Balance Scale improved significantly more in the GT group than in the HT group (mean group difference in change of 3.2 points, 95%CI = 0.7-5.8, p = 0.014). Of the secondary outcomes, the 30-second sit-to-stand test (p = 0.004), and physical health measured by the Short Form-36 (p = 0.004), improved significantly more for the GT group. Change in mobility measured by the Timed Up and Go test, mental health by the Short Form-36, and fall efficacy by the Fall Efficacy Scale International did not differ between groups. The 30-second sit-to-stand test and the Timed Up and Go, but not the Berg Balance Scale, was still better in the GT group at T3.In fall-prone home-dwelling older people, the OEP performed as GT is more effective for improving functional balance, muscle strength and physical health, but not fall efficacy and mental health than when performed as HT. The OEP provided as GT should be considered in this population. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Ushering in a new and exciting era of online sources in physiotherapy. [Editorial]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec; 18(4):191-2.
- Risk Factors for First Time Incidence Sciatica: A Systematic Review. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 11.
Characteristically, sciatica involves radiating leg pain that follows a dermatomal pattern along the distribution of the sciatic nerve. To our knowledge, there are no studies that have investigated risk factors associated with first time incidence sciatica. The purpose of the systematic review was to identify the longitudinal risk factors associated with first time incidence sciatica and to report incidence rates for the condition. For the purposes of this review, first time incidence sciatica was defined as either of the following: 1) no prior history of sciatica or 2) transition from a pain-free state to sciatica. Studies included subjects of any age from longitudinal, observational, cohort designs.The study was a systematic review. Eight of the 239 articles identified by electronic search strategies met the inclusion criteria.Risk factors and their respective effect estimates were reported using descriptive analysis and the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines. Modifiable risk factors included smoking, obesity, occupational factors and health status. Non-modifiable factors included age, gender and social class. Incidence rates varied among the included studies, in part reflecting the variability in the operationalized definition of sciatica but ranged from <1% to 37%.A majority of the identified risk factors associated with first time sciatica are modifiable, suggesting the potential benefits of primary prevention. In addition, those risk factors are also associated with unhealthy lifestyles, which may function concomitantly toward the development of sciatica. Sciatica as a diagnosis is inconsistently defined among studies. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- 'Finding a Balance' in Involving Patients in Goal Setting Early After Stroke: A Physiotherapy Perspective. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Dec 3.
Collaborative goal setting (between patient and professional) confers benefits within stroke and neurological rehabilitation, and is recommended in clinical guidelines. However, evidence suggests that patient participation in rehabilitation goal setting is not maximized, particularly within the hospital setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate physiotherapists' perceptions about their experiences of collaborative goal setting with patients in the sub-acute stages after stroke, in the hospital setting.This qualitative study employed constructivist grounded theory methodology. Nine physiotherapists, of varying experience, were selected using purposive then theoretical sampling from three National Health Service hospital stroke units in England. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were coded and analysed using the constant comparative method of grounded theory to find common themes.Three themes emerged from the data: 1) 'coming to terms with stroke' - the individual patient journey; 2) the evolution of goal setting skill - the individual physiotherapist journey; and 3) 'finding a balance' - managing expectations and negotiating interactions. A provisional grounded theory was constructed, which highlighted that, from the physiotherapists' perspective, collaboration with patients within goal setting early after stroke involved finding a balance between numerous different drivers, which have the potential to compete. Patient-directed and therapist-directed goal setting approaches could be viewed as opposite ends of a continuum, along which patient-centred goal setting is possible.Physiotherapists perceived that collaborating with patients in goal setting was important but challenging. Goal setting interactions with other professionals, patients and families were perceived as complex, difficult and requiring significant effort. The importance of individuality and temporality were recognized suggesting that the goal setting approach needs to be adapted to the context and the individuals involved. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Influence of Different Levels of Immersion in Water on the Pulmonary Function and Respiratory Muscle Pressure in Healthy Individuals: Observational Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Physiother Res Int 2013 Nov 28.
Immersion in water, with the head above the water line, causes acute physiological changes in the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute physiological responses to immersion on lung volumes and respiratory muscle strength at different depths.A cross-sectional study was conducted in 28 healthy individuals (21.75 ± 1.99 years; 13 men and 15 women). Anthropometric and spirometric data as well as respiratory muscle strength were evaluated. Evaluations were carried out on dry land (DL) and in a pool at three different levels of immersion: iliac crests (IC), xiphoid appendix of the sternum (XA) and clavicles (CL). The order of evaluation for spirometry and maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures between DL and the different levels of immersion was randomized. The ANOVA test for repeated measures with post hoc Tukey was applied to compare the variables.Vital capacity exhibited lower values at the CL level compared with DL, XA and IC (p < 0.01). The most significant change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1 ) occurred under immersion at CL and XA levels. No differences in maximal expiratory pressure were found in the comparisons between the different levels of immersion and DL (p = 0.19). There was nevertheless a decrease in maximum inspiratory pressure with immersion at the CL level (91 ± 23 cmH2 O) compared with DL (105 ± 29 cmH2 O), XA (99 ± 24 cmH2 O) and IC (101 ± 25 cmH2 O) values (p < 0.01).The results suggest that immersion at the level of the clavicles and xiphoid appendix alters lung function and respiratory muscle strength when compared with the values measured out of the water and immersed at the IC level in healthy individuals, demonstrating the influence of hydrostatic pressure on the respiratory system. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.