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Feedback for rehabilitation and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders

Research profile

This research programme focuses on spinal musculoskeletal disorders. It investigates the role of biofeedback as a tool for rehabilitation and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. The programme of research includes foundational, laboratory-based research that informs the design of trials. The goal is to develop and test new strategies for spinal musculoskeletal rehabilitation and injury prevention.

Research interests

The role of biofeedback on the management of spinal musculoskeletal disorders:

  • The effectiveness of biofeedback on the management of spinal musculoskeletal disorders
  • Strategies to prevent spinal musculoskeletal disorders

Current research

The effectiveness of lumbo-pelvic feedback trial (ELF) Trial

Low back pain (LBP) is a common, costly and disabling musculoskeletal disorder, that is prevalent in healthcare workers (e.g. nurses, physiotherapists, and care givers). The development of wearable motion sensors allows the monitoring of lumbo-pelvic movement pattern and the provision of postural feedback during daily-life and occupational activities.

Our previous research found a postural monitor device to be reliable and valid for monitoring lumbo-pelvic posture at the workplace. Our feasibility randomized controlled trial study showed a trend that suggests the use of PMF device might reduce the time spent in hazardous forward bent posture by healthcare workers. The feasibility trial has also shown that the PMF was also well-received by healthcare workers, who perceived it as a useful tool to improve their working posture.

Funded by:
Lottery Health Research Grant (2015)
Amount: $29,000
Health Research Council – Emerging Researcher First Grant (2015)
Amount: $146,824

International research collaborations

Assessment methods for permanent functional impairment of the spine: Blending evidence, international perspectives and stakeholder consultations
This project is led by Prof Steve Milosavljevic (University of Saskatchewan – Canada), and will assess the measurement properties of methods designed to assess spinal functional impairment. The international research team is formed by researchers from Canada, UK and Otago. The project is funded by WorkSafeBC (Canada, amount: CAD $ 132,160).

Research team

Principal investigator

Dr Dan Ribeiro

Co-investigators

Associate Professor J Haxby Abbott (University of Otago – New Zealand)
Professor Steve Milosavljevic (University of Saskatchewan – Canada)
Dr Gisela Sole (University of Otago – New Zealand)

Research students

Current

Mr Francisco Xavier Araujo (Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre – Brazil) (PhD Candidate, Dan Ribeiro: International Advisor).
Past
Mr Mauricio Scholl Schell (Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre – Brazil). International Undergraduate Research Student – Supported by the “Sciences without Borders” Programme, Brazil (Dan Ribeiro: primary supervisor).

Publications

Accepted for publication


Ribeiro, D.C.; Milosavljevic, S.; Abbott, J.H. (2017). Sample size estimation for cluster randomized controlled trials. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice (accepted).

Journal articles

Araujo, F.X.d, Scholl Schell M; Ribeiro, D.C. (2017). Effectiveness of Physiotherapy intervention plus Extrinsic Feedback for neck disorders: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 29, 132-143

Ribeiro DC, Milosavljevic S, Abbott JH. (2017) Effectiveness of a lumbopelvic monitor and feedback device to change postural behaviour: a protocol for the ELF cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2017;7:

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2014). The effectiveness of a lumbo-pelvic monitor and feedback device to change postural behavior: a feasibility randomized controlled trial. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44, 9, 702-711.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2013). Validity and reliability of the Spineangel® lumbopelvic postural monitor. Ergonomics, 56, 6, 977-991.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Aldabe, D.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2012). Dose-response relationship for cumulative work postural exposure and low back pain: A systematic review. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 56, 684-696.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2011). Cumulative postural exposure measured by a novel device: a preliminary study. Ergonomics, 54, 858-865.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2011). The reliability and accuracy of an electromagnetic motion analysis system when used conjointly with an accelerometer Technical Report. Ergonomics, 54, 672-677.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2011). A rationale for the provision of extrinsic feedback towards management of low back pain. Manual Therapy, 16, 301-305.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G.; Abbott, J.H.; Milosavljevic, S. (2011). Extrinsic feedback and management of low back pain: A critical review of the literature. Manual Therapy, 16, 231-239.

Conference presentations

Araujo, F.X.d, Scholl Schell M; Ribeiro, D.C. (2017). Effectiveness of Physiotherapy intervention plus Extrinsic Feedback for neck disorders: A systematic review with meta-analysis. NZMPA Conference (to be held in August 2017)

Ribeiro, D.C., Sole, G., Abbott, J. H., & Milosavljevic, S. (2012). Validity and reliability of the Spineangel® as a lumbo-pelvic posture monitor device. Proceedings of the XIXth Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology & Kinesiology (ISEK), (pp. 37).

Ribeiro, D.C. (2013). Dose-response relationship between work-related cumulative postural exposure and low back pain: A systematic review. Verbal presentation at the PhysioForward Scientific Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.