Imperial College London

ProfessorAlisonMcGregor

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 2972a.mcgregor

 
 
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Location

 

Room 202ABuilding E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

241 results found

Mullins E, Sharma S, McGregor A, 2021, Postnatal exercise interventions: a systematic review of adherence and effect, BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objective to evaluate adherence to and effect of postnatal physical activity (PA) interventions.Design systematic review of PA intervention randomised controlled trials in postnatal women. The initial search was carried out in September 2018, and updated in January 2021.Data sources Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases, hand-searching references of included studies. The 25 identified studies included 1466 postnatal women in community and secondary care settings.Eligibility criteria studies were included if the PA interventions were commenced and assessed in the postnatal year. Data extraction and synthesis data was extracted using a pre-specified extraction template and assessed independently by two reviewers using Cochrane ROB 1 tool.Results 1413 records were screened for potential study inclusion, full-text review was performed on 146 articles, 25 studies were included. The primary outcome was adherence to PA intervention. The secondary outcomes were the effect of the PA interventions on the studies’ specified primary outcome. We compared effect on primary outcome for supervised and unsupervised exercise interventions. Studies were small, median N= 66 (20-130). PA interventions were highly variable, targets for PA per week ranged from 60 -275 minutes per week. LTFU was higher (14.5% vs 10%) and adherence to intervention was lower (73.6% vs. 86%) for unsupervised vs. supervised studies.Conclusions studies of PA interventions inconsistently reported adherence and LTFU. Where multiple studies evaluated PA as an outcome, they had inconsistent effects, with generally low study quality and high risk of bias. Agreement for effect between studies was evident for PA improving physical fitness and reducing fatigue. Three studies showed no adverse effect of physical activity on breast feeding. High-quality research reporting adherence and LTFU is needed into how and when to deliver postnatal PA interventions to benefi

Journal article

Udeh-Momoh C, Watermeyer T, Sindi S, Giannakopoulou P, Robb C, Ahmadi Abhari S, Zheng B, Waheed A, McKeand E, Salman D, Beaney T, Loots C, Price G, Atchison C, Car J, Majeed A, McGregor A, Kivipelto M, Ward H, Middleton Let al., 2021, Health, lifestyle and psycho-social determinants of poor sleep quality during the Early Phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: a focus on UK older adults deemed clinically extremely vulnerable, Frontiers in Public Health, ISSN: 2296-2565

Background: Several studies have assessed the impact of COVID-19-relatedlockdownson sleep quality across global populations. However, no study to date has specifically assessed at-riskpopulations, particularly those at highest risk of complications from coronavirus infection deemed “clinically-extremely-vulnerable-(COVID-19CEV)” [as defined by Public Health England, 2020].Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed 5,558 adults aged ≥50 years (of whom 523 met criteria for COVID-19CEV) during the first pandemic wave that resulted in a nationwide-lockdown (April-June 2020) with assessments of sleep quality (an adapted sleep scale that captured multiple sleep indices before and during the lockdown), health/medical, lifestyle, psychosocial and socio demographic factors. We examined associations between these variablesand sleep quality;and explored interactions of COVID-19CEV status with significant predictors of poor sleep,to identify potential moderating factors. Results: 37% of participants reported poor sleep quality which was associated with younger age, female sex and multimorbidity. Significant associations with poor sleep included health/medical factors: COVID-19 CEV status, higher BMI, arthritis, pulmonary disease, and mental health disorders; and the following lifestyle and psychosocial factors: living alone, higher alcohol consumption, an unhealthy diet and higher depressive and anxiety symptoms. Moderators of the negative relationship between COVID-19 CEV status and good sleep quality were marital status, loneliness, anxiety and diet. Within this subgroup, less anxious and less lonely males, as well as females with healthier diets, reported better sleep. Conclusions: Sleep quality in older adults was compromised during the sudden unprecedented nation-wide lockdown due to distinct modifiable factors. An important contribution of our study is the assessment of a &ldquo

Journal article

Braeuninger-Weimer KL, Anjarwalla N, McGregor AH, Roberts L, Sell P, Pincus Tet al., 2021, Taking patients to the ice cream shop but telling them that they cannot have ice cream: a qualitative study of orthopaedic spine clinicians' perceptions of persistent low back pain consultations., BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2044-6055

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore the perceptions of orthopaedic clinicians about consultations for people with persistent musculoskeletal low back pain (PMLBP) in which surgery is not recommended. Surgery is not recommended for the majority of PMLBP consulting in secondary care settings. SETTING: Secondary care sector in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 24 orthopaedic team clinicians from 17 different hospitals in the UK and Ireland. Interviews explored clinicians' perceptions of the challenges in consultations where surgery is not indicated. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Two meta-themes, Difficulties and Enablers, each consisting of several subthemes were identified. Difficulties included challenges around the choice of appropriate terminology and labels for PMLBP, managing patients' expectations, working with mentally vulnerable patients and explaining imaging findings. Enablers included early management of expectations, use of routine imaging, triaging, access to direct referral elsewhere, including other non-surgical practitioners in the team, training to improve communication skills and understanding of psychological issues. CONCLUSION: The findings highlight clinicians' perceived need for concordance in messages delivered across the care pathway and training of orthopaedic clinicians to deliver effective reassurance and address patients' needs in circumstances where surgery is not indicated.

Journal article

Clunie G, Anderson C, Hughes C, Savage M, Roe J, Sandhu G, McGregor A, Alexander Cet al., 2021, “A major quality of life issue”: A survey-based analysis of the experiences of adults with laryngotracheal stenosis with mucus and cough, Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, ISSN: 0003-4894

Journal article

Henson DP, Edgar C, Ding Z, Sivapuratharasu B, Le Feuvre P, Finnegan ME, Quest R, McGregor AH, Bull AMJet al., 2021, Understanding lower limb muscle volume adaptations to amputation., Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 125, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0021-9290

Amputation of a major limb, and the subsequent return to movement with a prosthesis, requires the development of compensatory strategies to account for the loss. Such strategies, over time, lead to regional muscle atrophy and hypertrophy through chronic under or overuse of muscles compared to uninjured individuals. The aim of this study was to quantify the lower limb muscle parameters of persons with transtibial and transfemoral amputations using high resolution MRI to ascertain muscle volume and to determine regression equations for predicting muscle volume using femur- and tibia-length, pelvic-width, height, and mass. Twelve persons with limb loss participated in this study and their data were compared to six matched control subjects. Subjects with unilateral transtibial amputation showed whole-limb muscle volume loss in the residual-limb, whereas minor volume changes in the intact limb were found, providing evidence for a compensation strategy that is dominated by the intact-limb. Subjects with bilateral-transfemoral amputations showed significant muscle volume increases in the short adductor muscles with an insertion not affected by the amputation, the hip flexors, and the gluteus medius, and significant volume decreases in the longer adductor muscles, rectus femoris, and hamstrings. This study presents a benchmark measure of muscle volume discrepancies in persons with limb-loss, and can be used to understand the compensation strategies of persons with limb-loss and the impact on muscle volume, thus enabling the development of optimised intervention protocols, conditioning therapies, surgical techniques, and prosthetic devices that promote and enhance functional capability within the population of persons with limb loss.

Journal article

Salman D, Beaney T, Robb C, Loots CADJ, Giannakopoulou P, Udeh-Momoh C, Ahmadi Abhari S, Majeed F, Middleton LT, McGregor AHet al., 2021, The impact of social restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical activity levels of adults aged 50-92 years: a baseline survey of the CHARIOT COVID-19 Rapid Response prospective cohort study, BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objectives: Physical inactivity is more common in older adults, is associated with social isolation and loneliness, and contributes to increased morbidity and mortality. We examined the effect of social restrictions to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the UK (lockdown), on physical activity (PA) levels of older adults, and the social predictors of any change.Design: Baseline analysis of a survey-based prospective cohort study Setting: Adults enrolled in the Cognitive Health in Ageing Register for Investigational and Observational Trials (CHARIOT) cohort from General Practitioner (GP) practices in North West London were invited to participate from April to July 2020.Participants: 6,219 cognitively healthy adults aged 50 to 92 years completed the survey.Main outcome measures: Self-reported PA before and after the introduction of lockdown, as measured by Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) minutes. Associations of PA with demographic, lifestyle and social factors, mood and frailty.Results: Mean PA was significantly lower following the introduction of lockdown, from 3,519 MET minutes/week to 3,185 MET minutes/week (p<0.001). After adjustment for confounders and pre-lockdown PA, lower levels of PA after the introduction of lockdown were found in those who were over 85 years old (640 [95% CI: 246 to 1034] MET minutes/week less); were divorced or single (240 [95% CI: 120 to 360] MET minutes/week less); living alone (277 [95% CI: 152 to 402] MET minutes/week less); reported feeling lonely often (306 [95% CI: 60 to 552] MET minutes/week less); and showed symptoms of depression (1007 [95% CI: 1401 to 612] MET minutes/week less) compared to those aged 50-64 years, married, co-habiting, and not reporting loneliness or depression, respectively. Conclusions and Implications: Markers of social isolation, loneliness and depression were associated with lower PA following the introduction of lockdown in the UK. Targeted interventions to increase PA in these groups should be consid

Journal article

Bates A, McGregor A, Alexander C, 2021, Comparing sagittal plane kinematics and kinetics of gait and stair climbing between hypermobile and non-hypermobile people; a cross-sectional study, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol: 22, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 1471-2474

Background: Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) presents with a range of symptoms including widespread joint hypermobility and chronic arthralgia. The study objective was to investigate whether impairments in JHS are due to hypermobility or another factor of JHS by identifying impairments in gait and stair-climbing tasks; an activity that is demanding and so may better show differences between the cohorts.Methods: 68 adults participated; 23 JHS, 23 Generalised Joint Hypermobility (GJH), and 22 Normal Flexibility (NF). Inclusion criteria for JHS participants were a positive classification using the Brighton Criteria, for GJH a Beighton Score ≥4, and for NF a Beighton Score <4 with no hypermobile knees. Participants were recorded with a 10-camera Vicon system whilst they performed gait and stair-climbing. Temporal-spatial, and sagittal plane kinematic and kinetic outcome measures were calculated and input to statistical analyses by statistical parametric mapping (SPM).Results: During the gait activity JHS had significantly greater stride time and significantly lower velocity than NF, and significantly greater stride time, lower velocity, and lower stride length than GJH. SPM analysis showed no significant differences between groups in gait kinematics. There were significant differences between groups for gait moments and powers; people with JHS tended to have lower moments and generate less power at the ankle, and favour power generation at the knee. A similar strategy was present in stair ascent. During stair descent people with JHS showed significantly more hip flexion than people with NF.Conclusions: As there was only one significant difference between GJH and NF we conclude that impairments cannot be attributed to hypermobility alone, but rather other factor(s) of JHS. The results show that both gait and stair-climbing is impaired in JHS. Stair-climbing results indicate that JHS are using a knee-strategy and avoiding use of the ankle, which may be a factor f

Journal article

Panhelleux B, Shalhoub J, Silverman A, McGregor Aet al., 2021, A review of through-knee amputation, Vascular, ISSN: 0967-2109

Objectives: Through knee amputation (TKA) is an umbrella term for several different surgical techniques, which may affect clinical and functional outcomes. This makes it hard to evaluate the benefits and need for a TKA approach. This paper seeks to: (1) Determine the number of TKAs performed compared with other major lower limb amputations (MLLA) in England over the past decade; (2) identify the theoretical concepts behind TKA surgical approaches and their potential effect on functional and clinical outcomes; and (3) provide a platform for discussion and research on TKA and surgical outcomes.Methods: National Health Service Hospital Episodes Statistics were used to obtain recent numbers of MLLAs in England. EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched using a systematic approach with predefined criteria for relevant literature on TKA surgery.Results: In the past decade, 4.6% of MLLA in England were TKAs. Twenty-six articles presenting TKA surgical techniques met our criteria. These articles detailed three TKA surgical techniques; the classical approach, which keeps the femur intact and retains the patella; the Mazet technique, which shaves the femoral condyles into a box shape; and the Gritti-Stokes technique, which divides the femur proximal to the level of the condyles and attaches the patella at the distal cut femur.Conclusions: TKA has persisted as a surgical approach over the past decade, with three core approaches identified. Studies reporting clinical, functional, and biomechanical outcomes of TKA frequently fail to distinguish between the 3 distinct and differing approaches, making direct comparisons difficult. Future studies that compare TKA approaches to one another and to other amputation levels are needed.

Journal article

Wilson F, Thornton JS, Wilkie K, Hartvigsen J, Vinther A, Ackerman KE, Caneiro JP, Trease L, Nugent F, Gissane C, McDonnell S-J, McGregor A, Newlands C, Ardern CLet al., 2021, 2021 consensus statement for preventing and managing low back pain in elite and subelite adult rowers, British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol: 55, Pages: 893-899, ISSN: 0306-3674

PURPOSE: To synthesise evidence on low back pain (LBP) in adult rowers and to create a consensus statement to inform clinical practice. METHODS: There were four synthesis steps that informed the consensus statement. In step one, seven expert clinicians and researchers established the scope of the consensus statement and conducted a survey of experienced and expert clinicians to explore current practice. In step two, working groups examined current evidence relating to key scope questions and summarised key issues. In step three, we synthesised evidence for each group and used a modified Delphi process to aid in the creation of the overall consensus statements. Finally, in step four, we combined information from step three with the findings of the clinician survey (and with athlete and coach input) to produce recommendations for clinical practice. RESULTS: The scope of the consensus statement included epidemiology; biomechanics; management; the athlete's voice and clinical expertise. Prevention and management of LBP in rowers should include education on risk factors, rowing biomechanics and training load. If treatment is needed, non-invasive management, including early unloading from aggravating activities, effective pain control and exercise therapy should be considered. Fitness should be maintained with load management and progression to full training and competition. The role of surgery is unclear. Management should be athlete focused and a culture of openness within the team encouraged. CONCLUSION: Recommendations are based on current evidence and consensus and aligned with international LBP guidelines in non-athletic populations, but with advice aimed specifically at rowers. We recommend that research in relation to all aspects of prevention and management of LBP in rowers be intensified.

Journal article

Formstone L, Huo W, Wilson S, McGregor A, Bentley P, Vaidyanathan Ret al., 2021, Quantification of motor function post-stroke using wearable inertial and ,echanomyographic Sensors, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol: 29, Pages: 1158-1167, ISSN: 1534-4320

Subjective clinical rating scales represent the goldstandard diagnosis of motor function following stroke, however in practice they suffer from well-recognised limitations including variance between assessors, low inter-rater reliability and low resolution. Automated systems have been proposed for empirical quantification but have significantly impacted clinical practice. We address translational challenges in this arena through: (1) implementation of a novel sensor suite fusing inertial measurement and mechanomyography (MMG) to quantify hand and wrist motor function; and (2) introduction of a new range of signal features extracted from the suite to supplement predicted clinical scores. The wearable sensors, signal features, and sensor fusion algorithms have been combined to produce classified ratings from the Fugl-Meyer clinical assessment rating scale. Furthermore, we have designed the system to augment clinical rating with several sensor-derived supplementary features encompassing critical aspects of motor dysfunction (e.g. joint angle, muscle activity, etc.). Performance is validated through a large-scale study on a poststroke cohort of 64 patients. Fugl-Meyer Assessment tasks were classified with 75% accuracy for gross motor tasks and 62% for hand/wrist motor tasks. Of greater import, supplementary features demonstrated concurrent validity with Fugl-Meyer ratings, evidencing their utility as new measures of motor function suited to automated assessment. Finally, the supplementary features also provide continuous measures of sub-components of motor function, offering the potential to complement low accuracy but well-validated clinical rating scales when high-quality motor outcome measures are required. We believe this work provides a basis for widespread clinical adoption of inertial-MMG sensor use for post-stroke clinical motor assessment.Index Terms—Stroke, Fugl-Meyer assessment, automated upper-limb assessment, wearables, machine learning, mechanomyogra

Journal article

Favier C, McGregor A, Phillips A, 2021, Maintaining bone health in the lumbar spine: routine activities alone are not enough, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2296-4185

Public health organisations typically recommend a minimum amount of moderate intensity activities such as walking or cycling for two and a half hours a week, combined with some more demanding physical activity on at least 2 days a week to maintain a healthy musculoskeletal condition. For populations at risk of bone loss in the lumbar spine, these guidelines are particularly relevant. However, an understanding of how these different activities are influential in maintaining vertebral bone health is lacking. A predictive structural finite element modelling approach using a strain-driven algorithm was developed to study mechanical stimulus and bone adaptation in the lumbar spine under various physiological loading conditions. These loading conditions were obtained with a previously developed full-body musculoskeletal model for a range of daily living activities representative of a healthy lifestyle. Activities of interest for the simulations include moderate intensity activities involving limited spine movements in all directions such as, walking, stair ascent and descent, sitting down and standing up, and more demanding activities with large spine movements during reaching and lifting tasks. For a combination of moderate and more demanding activities, the finite element model predicted a trabecular and cortical bone architecture representative of a healthy vertebra. When more demanding activities were removed from the simulations, areas at risk of bone degradation were observed at all lumbar levels in the anterior part of the vertebral body, the transverse processes and the spinous process. Moderate intensity activities alone were found to be insufficient in providing a mechanical stimulus to prevent bone degradation. More demanding physical activities are essential to maintain bone health in the lumbar spine.

Journal article

Sanz-Pena I, Arachchi S, Halwala-Vithanage D, Mallikarachchi S, Kirumbara-Liyanage J, McGregor A, Silva P, Newell Net al., 2021, Characterising the mould rectification process for designing scoliosis braces: towards automated digital design of 3D-printed braces, Applied Sciences, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 2076-3417

The plaster-casting method to create a scoliosis brace consists of mould generation and rectification to obtain the desired orthosis geometry. Alternative methods entail the use of 3D scanning and CAD/CAM. However, both manual and digital design entirely rely on the orthotist expertise. Characterisation of the rectification process is needed to ensure that digital designs are as efficient as plaster-cast designs. Three-dimensional scans of five patients, pre-, and post-rectification plaster moulds were obtained using a Structure Mark II scanner. Anatomical landmark positions, transverse section centroids, and 3D surface deviation analyses were performed to characterise the rectification process. The rectification process was characterised using two parameters. First, trends in the external contours of the rectified moulds were found, resulting in lateral tilt angles of 81 ± 3.8° and 83.3 ± 2.6° on the convex and concave side, respectively. Second, a rectification ratio at the iliac crest (0.23 ± 0.04 and 0.11 ± 0.02 on the convex and concave side, respectively) was devised, based on the pelvis width to estimate the volume to be removed. This study demonstrates that steps of the manual rectification process can be characterised. Results from this study can be fed into software to perform automatic digital rectification.

Journal article

Clunie GM, Belsi A, Roe JWG, Alexander CM, Sandhu G, McGregor Aet al., 2021, Not just dyspnoea: swallowing as a concern for adults with laryngotracheal stenosis undergoing airway reconstruction, Dysphagia, ISSN: 0179-051X

Acquired laryngotracheal stenosis (LTS) is a rare condition causing dyspnea and stridor. Patients often require multiple surgical procedures with no guarantee of a definitive outcome. Difficulty swallowing is a recognised problem associated with LTS and the reconstructive surgeries required to manage the condition. The breathlessness patient’s experience impacts on swallowing, and the vulnerable structures of the larynx are implicated during complex surgeries. This leads to dysphagia post-surgery, with some patients experiencing more chronic symptoms depending on the biomechanical impact of the surgery, or a pre-existing dysphagia. Despite this there is limited observational research about the dysphagia associated with LTS, with no exploration of the patient experience. Our aim was to investigate patient experience of living with LTS focussing on dysphagia in order to guide clinical practice. A qualitative study was completed using focus groups and semi-structured interviews with 24 patients who have had reconstructive surgery for LTS. Thematic analysis was used to identify three over-arching themes: The Physical Journey, The Emotional Journey and The Medical Journey. Key sub-themes included the importance of self-management and control, presence of symptoms, benefits of therapy, living with a life-long condition, fear and anxiety, autonomy, medicalisation of normal processes and the dichotomy between staff expertise and complacency. Swallowing was connected to all themes. The results are reviewed with consideration of the wider literature of lived experience particularly in relation to other chronic conditions and those that carry a high symptom burden such as head and neck cancer. Future clinical and research recommendations have been made. Akin to other clinical groups, adults with LTS are keen that management of their swallowing is person-centred and holistic.

Journal article

Deane JA, Lim AKP, McGregor AH, Strutton PHet al., 2021, Understanding the impact of lumbar disc degeneration and chronic low back pain: a cross-sectional electromyographic analysis of postural strategy during predicted and unpredicted postural perturbations, PLoS One, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1932-6203

People with chronic low back pain (LBP) exhibit changes in postural control. Stereotypical muscle activations resulting from external perturbations include anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory (CPAs) postural adjustments. The aim and objective of this study was to determine differences in postural control strategies (peak amplitude, APAs and CPAs) between symptomatic and asymptomatic adults with and without Lumbar Disc Degeneration (LDD) using surface electromyography during forward postural perturbation. Ninety-seven subjects participated in the study (mean age 50 years (SD 12)). 3T MRI was used to acquire T2 weighted images (L1-S1). LDD was determined using Pfirrmann grading. A bespoke translational platform was designed to deliver horizontal perturbations in sagittal and frontal planes. Electromyographic activity was analysed bilaterally from 8 trunk and lower limb muscles during four established APA and CPA epochs. A Kruskal-Wallis H test with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons was conducted. Four groups were identified: no LDD no pain (n = 19), LDD no pain (n = 38), LDD pain (n = 35) and no LDD pain (n = 5). There were no significant differences in age or gender between groups. The most significant difference between groups was observed during forward perturbation. In the APA and CPA phases of predictable forward perturbation there were significant differences ankle strategy between groups (p = 0.007–0.008); lateral gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior activity was higher in the LDD pain than the LDD no pain group. There were no significant differences in the unpredictable condition (p>0.05). These findings were different from the remaining groups, where significant differences in hip strategy were observed during both perturbation conditions (p = 0.004–0.006). Symptomatic LDD patients exhibit different electromyographic strategies to asymptomatic LDD controls. Future LBP electromyographic research should benefit from considering asses

Journal article

Favier C, Finnegan M, Quest R, Honeyfield L, McGregor A, Phillips Aet al., 2021, An open-source musculoskeletal model of the lumbar spine and lower limbs: a validation for movements of the lumbar spine, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol: 24, Pages: 1310-1325, ISSN: 1025-5842

Musculoskeletal models of the lumbar spine have been developed with varying level of detail for a wide range of clinical applications. Providing consistency is ensured throughout the modelling approach, these models can be combined with other computational models and be used in predictive modelling studies to investigate bone health deterioration and the associated fracture risk. To provide precise physiological loading conditions for such predictive modelling studies, a new full-body musculoskeletal model including a detailed and consistent representation of the lower limbs and the lumbar spine was developed. The model was assessed against in-vivo measurements from the literature for a range of spine movements representative of daily living activities. Comparison between model estimations and electromyography recordings was also made for a range of lifting tasks. This new musculoskeletal model will provide a comprehensive physiological mechanical environment for future predictive finite element modelling studies on bone structural adaptation. It will be made freely available on https://simtk.org/projects/llsm/.

Journal article

Bates A, McGregor A, Alexander C, 2021, Adaptation of balance reactions following anterior perturbations in people with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol: 22, ISSN: 1471-2474

BackgroundJoint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) is a Heritable Disorder of Connective tissue characterised by joint laxity and chronic widespread arthralgia. People with JHS exhibit a range of other symptoms including balance problems. To explore balance further, the objective of this study is to compare responses to forward perturbations between three groups; people who are hypermobile with (JHS) and without symptoms and people with normal flexibility.MethodsTwenty-one participants with JHS, 23 participants with Generalised Joint Hypermobility (GJH) and 22 participants who have normal flexibility (NF) stood on a platform that performed 6 sequential, sudden forward perturbations (the platform moved to the anterior to the participant). Electromyographic outcomes (EMG) and kinematics for the lower limbs were recorded using a Vicon motion capture system. Within and between group comparisons were made using Kruskal Wallis tests.ResultsThere were no significant differences between groups in muscle onset latency. At the 1st perturbation the group with JHS had significantly longer time-to-peak amplitude than the NF group in tibialis anterior, vastus medialis, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and than the GJH group in the gluteus medius. The JHS group showed significantly higher cumulative joint angle (CA) than the NF group in the hip and knee at the 1st and 2nd and 6th perturbation, and in the ankle at the 2nd perturbation. Participants with JHS had significantly higher CA than the GJH group at the in the hip and knee in the 1st and 2nd perturbation. There were no significant differences in TTR.ConclusionsThe JHS group were able to normalise the timing of their muscular response in relation to control groups. They were less able to normalise joint CA, which may be indicative of impaired balance control and strength, resulting in reduced stability.

Journal article

Salman D, Vishnubala D, Le Feuvre P, Beaney T, Korgaonkar J, Majeed A, McGregor AHet al., 2021, Returning to physical activity after covid-19, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Vol: 372, Pages: 372-m4721, ISSN: 0959-535X

Journal article

Nugent FJ, Vinther A, McGregor A, Thornton JS, Wilkie K, Wilson Fet al., 2021, The relationship between rowing-related low back pain and rowing biomechanics: a systematic review, British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol: 55, Pages: 616-630, ISSN: 0306-3674

BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is common in rowers. Understanding rowing biomechanics may help facilitate prevention and improve rehabilitation. OBJECTIVES: To define the kinematics and muscle activity of rowers and to compare with rowers with current or LBP history. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCES: EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web of Science and Scopus from inception to December 2019. Grey literature was searched. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Experimental and non-experimental designs. METHODS: Primary outcomes were kinematics and muscle activity. Modified Quality Index (QI) checklist was used. RESULTS: 22 studies were included (429 participants). Modified QI score had a mean of 16.7/28 points (range: 15-21). Thirteen studies investigated kinematics and nine investigated muscle activity. Rowers without LBP ('healthy') have distinct kinematics (neutral or anterior pelvic rotation at the catch, greater hip range of motion, flatter low back spinal position at the finish) and muscle activity (trunk extensor dominant with less flexor activity). Rowers with LBP had relatively greater posterior pelvic rotation at the catch, greater hip extension at the finish and less efficient trunk muscle activity. In both groups fatigue results in increased lumbar spine flexion at the catch, which is greater on the ergometer. There is insufficient evidence to recommend one ergometer type (fixed vs dynamic) over the other to avoid LBP. Trunk asymmetries are not associated with LBP in rowers. CONCLUSION: Improving clinicians' and coaches' understanding of safe and effective rowing biomechanics, particularly of the spine, pelvis and hips may be an important strategy in reducing incidence and burden of LBP.

Journal article

Clunie G, Roe J, Alexander C, Sandhu G, McGregor Aet al., 2021, Voice and swallowing outcomes following airway reconstruction in adults: a systematic review, The Laryngoscope, Vol: 131, Pages: 146-157, ISSN: 0023-852X

Objectives: Laryngotracheal stenosis is a rare condition characterized by upper airway narrowing. Reconstructive surgical treatment aims to manage the area of stenosis to improve dyspnea and can impact on voice and swallowing function. This article critically evaluates the literature about voice and swallowing outcomes in adults with laryngotracheal stenosis who undergo reconstructive surgery.Study Design: Systematic review.Methods: Six databases were searched for articles referring to voice and swallowing outcome measures following reconstruction procedures in adults with laryngotracheal stenosis. Screening was completed using predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Results: A total of 143 abstracts were reviewed, with 67 articles selected for full text review. 20 studies met the inclusion criteria. Data extraction was completed with The Strengthening Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist with Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Level of Evidence used to indicate quality. Risk of bias was assessed using the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Non-Randomized Studies. All studies scored a high risk of bias in at least one of the domains. Selection and timing of outcome measures was heterogenous and there was limited information provided about rationale or reliability.Conclusion: The literature acknowledges the importance of voice and swallowing outcomes following airway reconstruction. Studies show correlation between reconstructive surgery and deterioration in vocal function; there is no consistent data about swallowing outcomes. The lack of a core outcome measures set for adults with laryngotracheal stenosis limits the findings of this review. Further research is needed to establish clear criteria for robust and clinically relevant outcome measurement.

Journal article

Papi E, Chiou S-Y, McGregor A, 2020, A feasibility and acceptability study on the use of a smartphone application to facilitate balance training in the ageing population, BMJ Open, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2044-6055

Objectives This study aims to investigate the feasibilityand acceptability of using an app-based technology totrain balance in the older population.Design Prospective feasibility study.Setting The study was conducted in a university settingand participants’ homes.Participants Thirty-five volunteers ≥55 years old wererecruited.InterventionParticipants were asked to follow a balanceexercise programme 7 days a week for 3 weeks using aphone application. Seventeen participants trained for afurther 3 weeks.Outcome measuresPostural sway measures duringquiet standing with feet at shoulder width apart andfeet together, one leg standing and tandem stancewere measured at baseline, and at the end of the 3and 6 training weeks; the International Physical ActivityQuestionnaire (IPAQ) assessed participants’ physicalactivity level before training; and app acceptability wasrecorded using a user experience questionnaire.ResultsParticipants on the 3 and 6-week programmeon average completed 20 (±5) and 38 (±11) days oftraining, respectively, and all scored moderate to high onthe IPAQ. Between baseline and the 3-week assessments,statistically significant improvements were observedfor anteroposterior sway, mediolateral sway, sway areaduring tandem stance, for anteroposterior sway duringone leg standing and for sway area during feet togetherstance. Improvements were observed at 6 week comparedwith baseline but those between 3 and 6 weeks werenot significant. Based on the questionnaire, participantsreported that the app is an appropriate tool for balancetraining (77%), they reported benefits from the training(50%) and found it easy to fit it into daily routine (88%).Conclusion The high level of adherence andimprovements observed in the analysed measuresdemonstrate the feasibility of using an app to train balancein moderately to highly physically active older participants.This demonstrates that given appropriate tools the olderpopulation is positive towards and r

Journal article

Goldsworthy S, Zheng CY, McNair H, McGregor Aet al., 2020, The potential for haptic touch technology to supplement human empathetic touch during radiotherapy, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Vol: 51, Pages: S39-S43, ISSN: 0820-5930

Radiotherapy for cancer is an effective treatment but requires precise delivery. Patients are required to remain still in the same position during procedure which may be uncomfortable. This combined with high anxiety experienced by patients, and feelings of isolation, have indicated a need for comfort interventions. Care conveyed through empathetic touch promotes comfort, individual attention and presence and provides both psychological and physical comfort at the same time. Evidence in nursing and care literature showed that empathetic touch interventions have a significant role in promoting comfort, facilitating communication between care recipients and caregivers. However, the application of empathetic touch interventions may be challenging to administer due to the safety concern in the radiotherapy environment. The emergence of haptic technologies that enable the communication of touch remotely may have a potential to fill this gap. We take inspiration from both clinical empathetic touch in radiotherapy practice, as well as affective haptic technologies to envision the opportunities for haptic technologies as a complimentary comfort intervention to supplement human empathetic touch during radiotherapy.

Journal article

Aldera M, Alexander C, McGregor A, 2020, Prevalence and incidence of low back pain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: a systematic review, Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, Vol: 10, Pages: 269-275, ISSN: 2210-6006

Study Design: A systematic review.Objective: To identify published studies that assess the prevalence and incidence of Low Back Pain (LBP) in the Saudi Arabian population.Methods: Six electronic databases were searched for articles published between January 1995 and December 2018. Crosssectional or cohort studies were included if they were conducted in the KSA and focused on the prevalence or incidence of LBP in adults. Case–control and retrospective studies were excluded. Studies were also excluded if they did not meet the quality criteria set out by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) assessment or had a high or medium risk of bias according to the criteria proposed by Hoy et al. One independent reviewer (MAA) verified that the studies met the inclusion criteria, and three independent reviewers (MAA, AHM, CMA) assessed the quality of the studies and extracted their relevant characteristics. All the studies were assessed for quality using the JBI assessment and were assessed for risk of bias according to the Hoy et al. approach.Results: The initial search identified 158 papers; five studies met the inclusion criteria. The nature of the findings meant no meta-analysis could be performed; therefore, a narrative summary was generated to discuss the findings. The prevalence of LBP in different professional groups within a working-age group ranged between 64% and 89%.Discussion: The prevalence of LBP in the KSA has only been examined within specific professional groups, which limits the ability to generalize the finding. The review clarifies the need for further quality epidemiological studies to identify the prevalence of LBP in the general population. Many of the issues identified are problems related to occupational risk of LBP. The implication therefore is that these occupational factors need to be assessed so that risk factors for LBP among employees in KSA can be modified.

Journal article

Deane JA, Papi E, Phillips A, McGregor Aet al., 2020, Reliability and minimal detectable change of the ‘Imperial Spine’ marker set for the evaluation of spinal and lower limb kinematics in adults, BMC Research Notes, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1756-0500

ObjectivesAs a step towards the comprehensive evaluation of movement in patients with low back pain, the aim of this study is to design a marker set (three rigid segment spine, pelvic and lower limb model) and evaluate the reliability and minimal detectable change (MDC) of this marker set in healthy adults during gait and sit to stand (STS) tasks using three dimensional motion capture.ResultsThe ‘Imperial Spine’ marker set was used to assess relative peak angles during gait and STS tasks using the minimum recommended sample size (n = 10) for reliability studies with minimum Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) of 0.70, optimum ICC 0.90 and 9 trials replicated per subject per task. Intra- and inter-tester reliability between an experienced and inexperienced user was examined. ICC, mean, standard error (SEM), Bland Altman 95% limits of agreement (LOA) and MDC were computed.ICC values demonstrated excellent intra- and inter-tester reliability in both tasks, particularly in the sagittal plane (majority ICCs > 0.80). SEM measurements were lower in gait (0.8–5.5°) than STS tasks (1°-12.6°) as were MDC values. LOA demonstrated good agreement. The ‘Imperial Spine’ marker set is reliable for use in healthy adults during functional tasks. Future evaluation in patients is required.

Journal article

Turner S, McGregor A, 2020, Perceived impact of socket fit on major lower limb prosthetic rehabilitation: a clinician and amputee perspective, Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2590-1095

ObjectiveTo determine amputees’ and rehabilitation clinicians’ perspectives on the impact of socket fit and issues caused by ill-fitting sockets throughout lower limb prosthetic rehabilitation.DesignA survey was developed to identify rehabilitation factors and issues for prosthesis wearers and rehabilitation clinicians. Participants opted to participate in a further telephone interview.SettingOnline and across the United Kingdom.ParticipantsLower limb prosthetic wearers and clinicians that are part of a lower limb prosthetic rehabilitation team.InterventionsNot applicable.Main Outcome Measure(s)A survey and an interview to measure the perceived impact of socket fit on lower limb rehabilitation.Results48.0% of amputees and 65.7% of clinicians identified socket fit related issues as the biggest factor impacting rehabilitation. Amputee interviewees focused on the impact of fit on quality of life and the ability to complete daily tasks, whilst clinicians focused on the lack of widespread ability to adjust the socket and gait re-education.ConclusionsSocket fit has a large impact on and is a large source of frustration to amputees and their clinical teams throughout rehabilitation. From the interviews, it became clear that the interpretation of socket fit is different for each person; thus “socket fit” does not mean the same for all.

Journal article

Deane JA, Pavlova A, Lim A, Gregory J, Aspden R, McGregor Aet al., 2020, Is intrinsic lumbar spine shape associated with Lumbar Disc Degeneration? An exploratory study, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1471-2474

Background: Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is a condition associated with recurrentlow back pain (LBP). Knowledge regarding effective management is limited. As a steptowards the identification of risk, prognostic or potentially modifiable factors in LDDpatients, the aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that intrinsic lumbar spineshape is associated with LDD and clinical outcomes in symptomatic adults. Methods: 3T MRI was used to acquire T2-weighted sagittal images (L1-S1) from 70healthy controls and LDD patients (mean age 49 years, SD 11, range 31-71years). Statistical Shape Modelling (SSM) was used to describe lumbar spine shape.SSM identified variations in lumbar shape as ‘modes’ of variation and quantifieddeviation from the mean. Intrinsic shape differences were determined between LDDgroups using analysis of variance with post-hoc comparisons. The relationshipbetween intrinsic shape and self-reported function, mental health and quality of lifewere also examined.Results: The first 7 modes of variation explained 91% of variance in lumbarshape. Higher LDD sum scores correlated with a larger lumbar lordosis (Mode 1 (55%variance), P=0.02), even lumbar curve distribution (Mode 2 (12% variance), P=0.05),larger anterior-posterior (A-P) vertebral diameter (Mode 3 (10% variance), P=0.007)and smaller L4-S1 disc spaces (Mode 7 (2% variance), P≤0.001). In the presence ofrecurrent LBP, LDD was associated with a larger A-P vertebral diameter (Mode 3) anda more even lumbar curvature with smaller L5/S1 disc spaces (Mode 4), which wassignificantly associated with patient quality of life (P=0.002-0.04, r p =0.43-0.61)).Conclusions: This exploratory study provides new evidence that intrinsic shapephenotypes are associated with LDD and quality of life in patients. Longitudinalstudies are required to establish the potential role of these risk or prognostic shapephenotypes.

Journal article

Clunie G, Belsi A, Roe J, Alexander C, Sandhu G, McGregor Aet al., 2020, Not Just Dyspnoea – Swallowing as a Concern for Adults with Laryngotracheal Stenosis Who Undergo Reconstructive Surgery?, UK Swallowing Research Group 2020 Conference

Conference paper

Hopkins M, Vaidyanathan R, McGregor AH, 2020, Examination of the performance characteristics of velostat as an in-socket pressure sensor, IEEE Sensors Journal, Vol: 20, Pages: 6992-7000, ISSN: 1530-437X

Velostat is a low-cost, low-profile electrical bagging material with piezoresistive properties, making it an attractive option for in-socket pressure sensing. The focus of this research was to explore the suitability of a Velostat-based system for providing real-time socket pressure profiles. The prototype system performance was explored through a series of bench tests to determine properties including accuracy, repeatability and hysteresis responses, and through participant testing with a single subject. The fabricated sensors demonstrated mean accuracy errors of 110 kPa and significant cyclical and thermal drift effects of up to 0.00715 V/cycle and leading to up to a 67% difference in voltage range respectively. Despite these errors the system was able to capture data within a prosthetic socket, aligning to expected contact and loading patterns for the socket and amputation type. Distinct pressure maps were obtained for standing and walking tasks displaying loading patterns indicative of posture and gait phase. The system demonstrated utility for assessing contact and movement patterns within a prosthetic socket, potentially useful for improvement of socket fit, in a low cost, low profile and adaptable format. However, Velostat requires significant improvement in its electrical properties before proving suitable for accurate pressure measurement tools in lower limb prosthetics.

Journal article

Tukanova K, Papi E, Jamel S, Hanna GB, McGregor AH, Markar SRet al., 2020, Assessment of chest wall movement following thoracotomy: a systematic review, JOURNAL OF THORACIC DISEASE, Vol: 12, Pages: 1031-+, ISSN: 2072-1439

Journal article

Papi E, Bull AMJ, McGregor AH, 2020, Alteration of movement patterns in low back pain assessed by Statistical Parametric Mapping, Journal of Biomechanics, Vol: 100, Pages: 109597-109597, ISSN: 0021-9290

Changes in movement pattern in low back pain (LBP) groups have been analysed by reporting predefined discrete variables. However, this approach does not consider the full kinematic data waveform and its dynamic information, potentially exposing the analysis to bias. Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) has been introduced and applied to 1 dimensional (D) kinematic variables allowing the assessment of data over time. The aims of this study were to assess differences in 3D kinematics patterns in people with and without LBP during functional tasks by using SPM and to investigate if SPM analysis was consistent with standard 3D range of motion (RoM) assessments. 3D joints kinematics of the spine and lower limbs were compared between 20 healthy controls and 20 participants with non-specific LBP during walking, sit-to-stand and lifting. SPM analysis showed significant differences in the 3Dkinematics of the lower thoracic segment, upper and lower lumbar segment and knee joint during walking and lifting mostly observed at the beginning and/or towards the end of the tasks. ROMs differed between groups in the lower thoracic segment (walking/sit-to-stand), upper and lower lumbar segments (walking/sit-to-stand/lifting), hip and knee (sit-to-stand/lifting). Based on these results, the two approaches can yield different data interpretations. SPM analysis allows the identification of differences in movement that occur over time. This adds value to LBP movement analysis as it allows an understanding of the LBP strategies adopted during motion that may not be conveyed by simple discrete parameters such as ROMs.

Journal article

Rowland S, Fitzgerald JE, Holme T, Powell J, McGregor Aet al., 2020, What is the clinical value of mHealth for patients?, npj Digital Medicine, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 2398-6352

Despite growing interest from both patients and healthcare providers there is little clinical guidance on how mobile apps should be utilised to add value to patient care. We categorize apps according to their functionality (e.g. preventative behavior change, digital self-management of a specific condition, diagnostic) and discuss evidence for effectiveness from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses and the relevance to patient care. We discuss the limitations of the current literature describing clinical outcomes from mHealth apps, what FDA clearance means now (510(k) / de novo FDA clearance) and in the future. We discuss data security and privacy as a major concern for patients when using mHealth apps. Patients are often not involved in the development of mobile health guidelines, and professionals’ views regarding high quality health apps may not reflect patients’ views. We discuss efforts to develop guidelines for the development of safe and effective mHealth apps in the US and elsewhere and the role of independent app reviews sites in identifying mHealth apps for patient care. There are only a small number of clinical scenarios where published evidence suggests that mHealth apps may improve patient outcomes.

Journal article

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