Announcement of Successful 2013 Tagged Grant Applications

Tagged grants are for researchers working on new or established research projects in a specific area of physiotherapy using ‘tagged’ funds.

All applications are subjected to a thorough assessment process by the PRF Grants Review Committee to ensure that PRF seeding grants are awarded to the most worthy studies each year.

An exploration of the feasibility of a randomized clinical trial for physiotherapy intervention in early hip osteoarthritis following hip arthroscopic surgery

Kate Young (VIC)

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with significant personal and societal burden, which is rising with increased life expectancy. Early hip OA is commonly seen during hip arthroscopic surgery, and can affect younger adults (age<55 years) with peak work and family commitments. Whilst hip arthroscopy is commonly undertaken for pain associated with early hip OA, no studies have examined best practice for post-operative rehabilitation. An effective intervention for early-onset hip OA will potentially have great personal and societal impact. The primary aim of this study is to establish the feasibility of a randomised clinical trial (RCT) of physiotherapy, targeted to improve hip joint range and hip-related symptoms in early-onset hip OA. This study is a single blind pilot RCT conforming to CONSORT guidelines. Twenty people with early hip OA who had hip arthroscopy surgery six to 12 months previously will be recruited and randomized to the intervention group (individualized manual therapy, exercise therapy and education) or the control group (education only). Eight interventions will occur for both groups over three months, with outcomes collected at baseline and three months. Primary outcome measure - feasibility of a full scale RCT. Secondary outcome measures - symptoms, quality-of-life and range-of-motion.

Beryl Haynes Research Grant

Amount awarded: $9,994

Determination of normatively-based diagnostic thresholds for unilateral and bilateral lower limb lymphoedema

Elizabeth Dylke (NSW)

Secondary lower limb lymphoedema (LLL) can occur as a result of treatment of many cancers. In the relatively few studies to investigate LLL using an objective measurement of the limb, a range of measurement methods and diagnostic criteria have been used to diagnose and monitor this condition. Some consider unilateral LLL to be present when there is a 5% discrepancy in the volume or circumference of the at-risk limb when compared to the other limb, while others will use up to 10%. No evidence exists to support any of the criteria. Furthermore, it is currently not known if any of these criteria represent an abnormal inter-limb discrepancy, as the normative inter-limb difference has not previously been investigated. Determination of evidence-based diagnostic thresholds based, i.e. normatively determined, would facilitate diagnosis of LLL to occur at an earlier stage, before lymphoedema has become entrenched. In addition, clarification of who does and does not have LLL will assist in developing a clearer understanding of the incidence of LLL and associated risk factors as well as facilitate comparison among treatment-focused studies.

Lymphoedema Association of Western Australia

Amount awarded: $10,000

Pattern of physical activity and sedentary time in survivors of a critical illness during a hospital admission

Claire Baldwin (SA)

Research question: What are the patterns of time spent in active and sedentary behaviours in survivors of a critical illness, on awakening after a period of mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU), on discharge from the ICU to ward, and on discharge form hospital? Methodology: This prospective observational study will use continuous activity monitoring and objective measures of muscle strength and functional mobility, at three 24-hour points during recovery from a critical illness.

Significance of the project to physiotherapy and the general community: In other disease populations, long bouts of sedentary time are associated with poor health outcomes, but patterns of active/sedentary time are not well described in ICU survivors at any phase of their recovery. Using technologies to measure patterns of sedentary and active time in survivors of critical illness when they are potentially most inactive will provide baseline data in a South Australian population. This study will inform research on the implementation of early ICU rehabilitation in clinical practice, ensuring that potential benefits can be translated to patients. This study will also be used as a basis to: quantify therapy time and intensity; investigate dose-response relationships between activity and functional outcome; devise interventions to improve activity levels in hospitalised patients; and predict long term outcomes.

Physiotherapy Board of South Australia

Amount awarded: $16,700