Archived posts for school of physiotherapy:

The School of Physiotherapy sends you Holiday Greetings

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The School of Physiotherapy has sent you a Holiday Note Card.
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The School of Physiotherapy welcomes Dr. Shaun Boe

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It is our pleasure to welcome Shaun Boe MPT, PhD to the School of Physiotherapy as Assistant Professor.

Dr. Shaun Boe received his MPT and PhD from the University of Western Ontario.

Shaun completed a post-doctoral position at the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery in the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. He was also a staff physiotherapist for thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Toronto General Hospital.

The Dalhousie University School of Physiotherapy is excited to have Shaun as a new and valuable member of its teaching and research team. Please join us in welcoming Shaun and his wife, Lisa, to Nova Scotia and in particular to the School of Physiotherapy. 

Congrats to Gillian Hatfield and Denise Hollway

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The School of Physiotherapy takes great pride in recognizing both Gillian Hatfield and Denise Hollway for their hard work and fine achievement in their respective research projects.

A shout-out goes to Gillian Hatfield who successfully defended her MScPT Rehab Research thesis: The Effects of Quadriceps Impairment On Lower Limb Kinematics, Kinetics And Muscle Activation During Gait In Young Adults

Adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) show gait changes that represent a negative loading environment and that may be linked to quadriceps impairment. The purpose of this study was to mimic quadriceps impairment using a fatigue model to determine if this produced gait characteristics reflecting a negative loading environment. Surface electromyograms, three-dimensional motion and ground reaction forces were collected before and after twenty adults completed a quadriceps fatigue protocol. Impairment resulted in decreased knee extensor torque, quadriceps mean and median power frequencies and vastus lateralis activity (p<0.05).  The knee external rotation angle increased, the flexion and external rotation moments decreased (p<0.025), and the adduction moment increased (not significant). The ankle contribution to the total support moment increased to compensate for the knee decrease (p<0.025). Results are consistent with a negative loading environment and are characteristics observed in OA. This shows a direct link between quadriceps impairment and the knee mechanical environment.


Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a progressive exercise program on vestibular control of standing balance, in older adults referred for home care physiotherapy because of balance impairment. The secondary purpose was to determine if the mobility of this population can be explained by a linear relationship with vestibular control of standing balance and with muscle strength of designated lower limb muscle groups.

Subjects: Seven adults (75-89 yrs), referred for home care physiotherapy for balance impairment.

Methods: Eligible participants were recruited from the wait list of the Extra Mural Physiotherapy Program in Saint John, NB. Ability to use vestibular inputs for postural control in standing was assessed using the Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance (CTSIB), mobility was measured with the Timed Up and Go test (TUG), and lower extremity muscle strength was assessed with changes in 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Participants who had CTSIBTest 5 scores of < 15 seconds were accepted into the study. Participants
were randomly assigned to an 8 week intervention of progressive balance exercise targeting ability to use vestibular control and high intensity progressive resistance exercise (PRE) or high intensity PRE only.  Descriptive statistics were calculated, and the primary hypothesis was tested using the Mann Whitney U-test (? =0.05) to compare the difference in Pre and Post exercise means for the CTSIBTest 5 scores of the Resistance and Balance Exercise (RBE) Group and the Resistance Exercise (RE) group.  A Spearman Matrix Correlation was used to examine factors which affect mobility.

 Results:The difference in CTSIBTest 5 scores of the RBE Group (median 23.3 s) was greater than the difference in CTSIBTest 5 scores for the RE Group (median 0.60 s) (W = 18.0, p <0.05). A linear relationship was found between TUG and CTSIBTest 5 scores and TUG and ABC scores during Pre exercise testing (p < 0.05). A linear relationship was found between TUG scores and knee flexion strength during Post exercise testing (p < 0.05). 

Conclusions: The results of this study provide preliminary evidence that the ability to use vestibular control in older adults, referred for home care physiotherapy for balance impairment, can be modified by progressive balance training and resistance exercise but not by resistance exercise alone.


Also making news … Dr. Katherine Harman

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Not one to seek out the limelight, Dr. Katherine Harman would be just as happy to keep her prestigious rowing win to herself. But here at the School of Physiotherapy, we would feel very remiss not to mention how proud we are of Katherine. Not only is she associate professor of physiotherapy and assistant dean for the Faculty of Health Professions, she has been courageous in her battle with breast cancer and, of course, tenacious at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. As if winning her age category wasn’t enough, she also recorded the fastest time of any woman single sculler at the event that day. We would have to say it gives a whole new meaning to you go girl!

For more on this story, please click here.

In the news … Elisa Jenkins

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Elisa Jenkins who hails from Cape Breton and is one of the School of Physiotherapy’s very own (class of 2002) was recently in the news as she plans to race around the world against 10 identical 20-metre yachts starting in London, England and finishing there next July. As well as competing, Ms. Jenkins will also be trying to raise $35,000 (a dollar for every mile the yacht is expected to travel) to help pay for an expansion of the cancer centre in Sydney. We wish her success and smooth sailing!

To read the complete story, click here.

You can also track Elisa Jenkins progress by visiting online at