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Title: Development and clinical application of assessment measures to describe and quantify intra-limb coordination during walking in normal children and children with cerebral palsy
Author: Farmer, Sybil E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 169X
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis investigates coordination of the lower limb joints within the limb during walking. The researcher was motivated by her clinical experience as a paediatric physiotherapist. She observed that the pattern of lower limb coordination differed between normal children and those with cerebral palsy. Many of the currently used interventions did not appear to influence this patterning. As a precursor to evaluating the effectiveness of treatments in modifying coordination, a tool to measure coordination was required. The researcher initially investigated qualitative and then quantitative methods of measuring within limb coordination. A technique was developed that used relative angular velocity of two joints to determine when joints were in-phase, antiphasic or in stasis. The phasic parameters of hip/knee, knee/ankle and hip/ankle joints coordination were quantified. There were some significant differences between normal children and children with cerebral palsy. Asymmetry of these phasic parameters was identified, with children with cerebral palsy being more asymmetrical than normal children. The clinical utility of this technique was tested by comparing 2 groups of children before and after 2 surgical procedures. This showed some significant differences in phasic parameters between pre and post-operative data for one procedure. Low samples sizes mean that further work is required to confirm these findings. Data from this work has been used to calculate sample sizes to give an a priori power of 0.8 and further research is proposed and potential applications discussed. It is hoped that this technique will raise awareness of abnormal intra-limb coordination and allow therapists to identify key interactions between joints that need to be facilitated during walking training.
Supervisor: Pearce, Gillian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lower limb intra limb coordination ; Gait ; Cerebral Palsy ; Children ; Measurement ; Physical disabilities ; Disabled children ; Physiotherapy