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Title: Determining selective voluntary motor control of the lower extremity in children with cerebral palsy
Author: Balzer, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 1377
Awarding Body: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Current Institution: Queen Margaret University
Date of Award: 2018
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For physiotherapists working in neuro-paediatric gait-rehabilitation, improving motor control of the lower extremity is a major focus. Nevertheless, our understanding of selective voluntary motor control (SVMC) is in its infancy. This PhD project aimed to contribute to close this gap by investigating the nature of SVMC of the lower extremity in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and providing a psychometric robust yet sensitive measurement instrument for quantifying SVMC. The first study investigated the influence of SVMC and other lower extremity and trunk motor impairments on gait capacity using multiple regression-analyses. Although SVMC was not kept within the final model, these study results revealed the importance of SVMC in relation to muscle strength, trunk control and gait capacity. The aim of the second study was to establish validity and reliability of the German version of the 'Selective Control Assessment of the Lower Extremity' (SCALE). Although the psychometric properties of the German SCALE were good, information about its responsiveness is lacking. Accordingly, a systematic review was carried out to identify a SVMC measurement instrument with the highest level of evidence for its psychometric properties and best clinical utility. As the findings showed the absence of appropriate, responsive SVMC measures, the aim of the last study was to modify the existing SCALE to make it more sensitive. Due to the positive findings in relation to the psychometric properties of the SCALE, its procedure was combined with a surface electromyography Similarity Index (SI). The first validity and reliability results of the SCALE-SI are promising and serve as benchmarks when applying the SCALE-SI in future clinical and scientific practice. However, to use the SCALE-SI as an outcome measure for detecting therapy-induced changes of SVMC in children with CP, its responsiveness needs to be evaluated in future studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available