Previous grant applications awarded

Date, title and applicantsAbstract
TITLE: Investigation of the physical and social impact of living with hemiplegia

Dr Jennifer McCahill


BACKGROUND: Children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy grow up with one side of their body limited in function. This affects how they walk, but perhaps more importantly, it affects their hand and arm function. Often they only have the use of one hand to complete daily skills such as eating, dressing and cooking. Early exercises to improve hand-use have shown good results in recent literature and surgical techniques are being offered with a view to improve function. However, we still don’t know if these treatments translate to improved independent living including their ability to access education, employment, social engagement and quality of life.

AIM: The aim of this study is to utilise a multi-centred approach to improve our understanding of the physical and social impact of people living with hemiplegia with 3 specific objectives:
1) Investigate the natural history of the condition (level of disability, treatments received, social impact)
2) Identify what problems / priorities are voiced by the individuals with hemiplegia
3) Create a CMAS focus group to develop assessment guidelines / priorities to guide objective upper limb analysis

METHODS: Objectives 1 and 2 will be met by developing a questionnaire to be given to the hemiplegia population of CMAS laboratories as well as social media sites. The questionnaires will be analysed to inform the focus group meetings for objective 3. The meetings will be conducted with at least three CMAS centres via Zoom, with the addition of 1-3 patient/parent representatives. From these meetings, assessment guidelines/ priorities will be developed for CMAS laboratories to further develop upper limb movement analysis services.

TITLE: Evaluating the clinical use of electromyography in CMAS and ESMAC gait laboratories for the assessment of cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions

Dr Hannah Shepherd, Liverpool Hope University; Dr Jo Reeves, University of Exeter; Dr Caroline Stewart, ORLAU & Keele University


BACKGROUND: Electromyography (EMG) can estimate the magnitude and timing of muscle activation during walking in those with neurological conditions. Despite the potential of EMG use in assessment and clinical decision-making, it has been suggested that there is a decline in the use of EMG within gait laboratories. In the UK and Ireland, approximately half of the labs accredited with CMAS currently use EMG according to their ‘statement of purpose’ (, 2023). Additionally, technical and educational barriers to EMG usage in clinics have been reported in Italy (Cappellini et al., 2020).

AIM: To establish the current EMG practice in CMAS and ESMAC clinical gait labs, and to evaluate the associated knowledge, beliefs and barriers to EMG usage.

METHODS: This will be achieved by using a qualitative approach and conducting online semi-structured interviews. The interviews will be aimed at professionals within the gait labs team including physiotherapists, clinical scientists, engineers and orthopaedic surgeons. Participants from CMAS and ESMAC associated gait labs will be included in the study. The project results will then be presented at the CMAS standards meeting, with attendees from across the CMAS community. This will prompt further group discussions regarding EMG and in particular quality assurance to help inform the CMAS standards guidelines and additional recommendations.

Amount funded: £6200

TITLE: Supporting the development of a clinical gait laboratory in the cure hospital in Addis Abada

Dr Julie Stebbins, Oxford University


BACKGROUND: A new gait laboratory was recently established at the Cure hospital in Addis Ababa with support from the Oxford Gait laboratory in the UK. They had made significant progress in developing the service and were already assessing local patients. However, they still required extensive external input to be able to operate the service at a level that was in agreement with CMAS standards.

AIM: To send a gait specialist from Oxford to the Cure hospital in Addis Ababa for a 3-month period to help to further develop the clinical gait laboratory. The specific goals were to train gait lab and clinical staff, implement protocols and procedures, collect typical reference data from the local population, initiate educational tools for gait analysis, compile an information resource for setting up a gait laboratory in an LMIC setting, and further development of collaborative research.

METHODS: Dr Julie Stebbins travelled to Ethiopia for the 3-month period from March to May 2022. The visit involved training of the Cure gait laboratory regarding clinical service development, protocol development and quality assurance for human movement analysis. This is to allow for collection of clinical gait data that can be used for improving our understanding of walking within a global health framework.

Amount funded: £4950

TITLE: Developing competency frameworks and increasing accessibility for Clinical Movement Analysis Society accreditation

Dr Fraser Philp, University of Liverpool; Dr Neil Postans, ORLAU, Oswestry, Prof Anand Pandyan, University of Bournemouth


BACKGROUND: Motion analysis has helped improve our understanding of disease processes and allowed for better planning in surgery and rehabilitation. There is a need to increase access to motion-analysis, both for the lower and upper-limbs. A major barrier is the availability of motion-analysis laboratories which are structured to provide clinically useful information. In order to facilitate this, it is important to support more laboratories in getting their CMAS accreditation.

AIM: To develop a reference competency framework and supporting documents to make the application for CMAS accreditation clearer and more accessible in order to support more motion-analysis laboratories in getting CMAS accreditation.

METHODS: This will be achieved by asking accredited CMAS laboratories to send us information about how they demonstrate and record their competencies. We will combine this information and develop some preliminary frameworks following a mapping exercise and content analysis from which draft reference documents can be developed. This project will showcase examples of good practice and is well aligned to the aims of CMAS as it allows for oversight of professional standards and training, stimulation and advancement of scientific knowledge and encourages professional interaction and the exchange of ideas amongst CMAS members.

Amount funded: £5050