Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Movement Laboratory Research

Research in the School of Physiotherapy Movement Laboratory allows gold standard measurement of physical and biological aspects of movement in health and disease and the effects of rehabilitation. The Movement Laboratory has many projects running simultaneously and projects span all areas of physiotherapy practice.

The laboratory houses a Vicon motion capture system, a Kistler force plate and a Motion Labs surface electromyography system. It also has cardiorespiratory assessment equipment, a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer and a TekScan F-scan system.

Conventional Versus Virtual Reality Based Vestibular Rehabilitation; Effect on Dizziness, Gait And Balance (2010-2013)

Research team
Dara Meldrum, Susan Herdman, Deirdre Murray, Roisin Maloney, Kareena Finucane, Doug Duffy, Donncha Lane, Aine Glennon, Helen French, Stephen Hone, Rory McConn Walsh.
Project Description
This is a randomized controlled trial to compare conventional vestibular rehabilitation with a virtual reality based vestibular rehabilitation, using a universally available virtual reality system (Nintendo Wii Fit Plus®).
Collaborators
Beaumont Hospital Dublin, Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Dublin, Dizziness and Balance Centre, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
Funding
Health Research Board Research Fellowships for the Therapy Professions 2011

Virtual Reality Rehabilitation of Balance- Assessment of the Usability of the Nintendo Wii® Fit Plus

Research team
Dara Meldrum, Aine Glennon, Susan Herdman, Deirdre Murray, Rory McConn Walsh.
Project Description
The aim of this study was to investigate the usability of the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus® in the treatment of balance impairment in vestibular and other neurological disease.
Collaborators
Beaumont Hospital Dublin, Dizziness and Balance Centre, Emory University, Atlanta, USA
Funding
RCSI student summer grant, HRB.
Publications
Meldrum D, Aine G, Susan H, Deirdre M, Rory MW.
Virtual reality rehabilitation of balance: assessment of the usability of the Nintendo Wii® Fit Plus.
Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2011 Nov 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:22117107 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Gait Impairment in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Analysis, Impact on Function, and Effect of Surgical Intervention.

Research team
Ailish Malone (nee McDermott)
Project description
The aim of this project was to compare gait in people with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) to age- and gender-matched healthy controls using three-dimensional gait analyis, and to assess changes in the CSM gait following surgical decompression of the spinal cord. People with clinical and radiological evidence of CSM were prospectively recruited from a neurosurgery clinic at Beaumont Hospital. Three-dimensional gait analysis and surface electromyography data were obtained during gait assessments conducted before surgery and at six months and one year after surgery. Secondary outcome measures included functional mobility, severity of myelopathy and health-related quality of life.
Funding
Health Research Board Research Fellowship for the Therapy Professions 2008
Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists O’Driscoll O’Neil Bursary 2010.
Publications
McDermott A, Bolger C, Keating L, McEvoy L, Meldrum D (2010). Reliability of three dimensional gait analysis in cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Gait & Posture 32, 552-8.
Malone A, Meldrum D, Gleeson J, Bolger C (2011). Reliability of surface electromyography timing parameters in gait in cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology,  21, 1004-10.

Footwear Telemetry Antennas for the Next Generation of Body-Centric Sensor Networks

Research team
Max Ammann (DIT), Patrick McEvoy (DIT), Louise Keating and Frances Horgan (RCSI).
Description
This 5-year footwear telemetry project is led by Dr Max Ammann and will address the challenges of human interaction with electromagnetic communications antennas in order to facilitate viable radio links from footwear to electronic data-analysis systems. Small antennas integrated with footwear will be an enabling technology for a wide range of innovative wireless applications in the medical, occupational and leisure sectors. Among these, it is anticipated that new sensor devices will reduce health service costs for fall-prone patients and will offer in-depth analysis to high-calibre athletic training.
Collaborations
Electronic & Communications Engineering Department, Dublin Institute of Technology.
Funding
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Principal Investigator Programme 2010

Normalisation Methods for surface EMG of Gluteus Medius during weight- bearing exercises

Project Team
Dr. Helen French, RCSI; Dr. Dara Meldrum, RCSI; Dr. Ailish Malone, Central Remedial Clinic ; Ms. Xiaoli Huang ; Mr. Andrew Cummiskey.
Project Description
The purpose of this study was to compare two normalisation methods used for surface electromyography (sEMG): a maximal method (maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC)) and non-maximal Peak Dynamic method(PDM), on Gluteus Medius (GMed) activation using sEMG during three weight-bearing exercises (Squat, Step-Up , Step-Down)
Funding
Health Research Board (HRB) Summer Student Projects 2011 and 2012.

Intra-Tester and Inter-Tester Reliability Of The Microfet 3 Hand-Held Dynamometer

Research team
Michelle Clarke, Doireann Ni Mhuircheartaigh, Julie Walsh, Dara Meldrum
Project Description
The MicroFET3 handheld dynamometer is a commercially available device used to measure muscle force (strength). It yields more sensitive data than ordinal measures such as the Medical Research Council grading of muscle strength but its reliability is unknown. This was a student led project that aimed to investigate the inter-tester reliability of the MicroFET3 handheld dynamometer.
Publications
Clarke M, Ni Mhuircheartaigh D, Walsh JM, Meldrum D
Intra-tester and inter-tester reliability of the MicroFET 3 Hand-held dynamometer Physiotherapy Ireland 2011 32(1): 13-18 (Jan 2011)

Comparison Of the Physiological Cost Index Of Walking in Healthy Subjects Wearing Rocker Bottom Footwear and Barefoot.

Research Team
Elaine Cribbin, Elaine Hall, Julie Walsh, Dara Meldrum
Project Description
Rocker bottom shoes are increasingly popular, have a high cost and claim, amongst other benefits to increase fitness. No previous research has investigated the effects of wearing rocker bottom footwear on energy expenditure.The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of wearing a rocker bottom shoe (Masai Barefoot Technology; MBT) on the the physiological cost index of walking (PCI) in healthy subjects. This study demonstrated an increase in work of the cardiovascular system while wearing MBT footwear compared with barefoot and provides preliminary information on the physiological effects of wearing rocker bottom shoes.
Cribbin E., Hall E., Walsh J. Meldrum D. Comparison Of The Physiological Cost Index Of Walking In Healthy Subjects Wearing Rocker Bottom Footwear And Barefoot (2011) Physiotherapy Volume 97 Supplement S1

A Pilot Study to Investigate Postural Sway in Masai Barefoot Technology Shoes (MBTs), Flat-Bottom Runners And Barefoot.

Research Team
Adrienne Sankey, Louise Smith, Dara Meldrum
Project Description
The aim of this study was to investigate differences in postural sway in the anterior-posterior (AP) and medio-lateral direction (ML) during quiet stance among a group
of healthy females wearing Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoes. This research demonstrated that wearing MBT footwear increases postural sway in the AP and ML direction with EO and EC when compared to a flatbottom runner and barefoot in healthy females.
Publications
A pilot study to investigate postural sway in Masai barefoot technology footwear (MBT), flat-bottomed runners and barefoot. Rehabilitation and Therapy Research Society Fourth Annual Conference. Smith L; Sankey A; Meldrum D; Physical Therapy Reviews, 2008 Jun; 13 (3): 212 CINAHL AN: 2010002897.
Sankey, A., Smith, L., & Meldrum, D. (2007). A pilot study to investigate postural sway in Masai Barefoot Technology Shoes (MBTs), flat-bottom runners and barefoot. Physiotherapy Ireland, 28(2), 78.

A Study to Investigate the Reliability of Computerised Analysis of Human Gait Using Vicon Motion Analysis System.

Research Team
Meldrum D.  Shouldice C, Reilly A Conroy R ,Jones K, Forward M.
Project Description
Computerised gait analysis is increasingly being used as an objective outcome measure for assessment and diagnosis for patients with locomotors disability. The Movement Laboratory at the School of Physiotherapy consists of a 5-Camera Vicon Motion Analysis system, surface electromyography (semi) system and a Kistler force plate. The aims of the study were to establish and document a standardised protocol to measure gait parameters, investigate reliability of the gait analysis system and to develop a normative database of kinetic and kinematic variables.
Funding
RCSI Summer Student Research Grant
Publication
Meldrum D, Shouldice C, French H, O’Reilly A, Forward M, Horgan F (2005). A pilot study to investigate the reliability of computerised measurement of human gait using the Vicon Motion Analysis system. Physiotherapy Ireland, Dec; 26 (2): 39-41 (journal article - pictorial, research, tables/charts) CINAHL AN: 2009084562