Publications by authors named "Catherine Bulley"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Exercise programme to improve quality of life for patients with end-stage kidney disease receiving haemodialysis: the PEDAL RCT.

Health Technol Assess 2021 Jun;25(40):1-52

School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Whether or not clinically implementable exercise interventions in haemodialysis patients improve quality of life remains unknown.

Objectives: The PEDAL (PrEscription of intraDialytic exercise to improve quAlity of Life in patients with chronic kidney disease) trial evaluated the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a 6-month intradialytic exercise programme on quality of life compared with usual care for haemodialysis patients.

Design: We conducted a prospective, multicentre randomised controlled trial of haemodialysis patients from five haemodialysis centres in the UK and randomly assigned them (1 : 1) using a web-based system to (1) intradialytic exercise training plus usual-care maintenance haemodialysis or (2) usual-care maintenance haemodialysis.

Setting: The setting was five dialysis units across the UK from 2015 to 2019.

Participants: The participants were adult patients with end-stage kidney disease who had been receiving haemodialysis therapy for > 1 year.

Interventions: Participants were randomised to receive usual-care maintenance haemodialysis or usual-care maintenance haemodialysis plus intradialytic exercise training.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome of the study was change in Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form, version 1.3, physical component summary score (from baseline to 6 months). Cost-effectiveness was determined using health economic analysis and the EuroQol-5 Dimensions, five-level version. Additional secondary outcomes included quality of life (Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form, version 1.3, generic multi-item and burden of kidney disease scales), functional capacity (sit-to-stand 60 and 10-metre Timed Up and Go tests), physiological measures (peak oxygen uptake and arterial stiffness), habitual physical activity levels (measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Duke Activity Status Index), fear of falling (measured by the Tinetti Falls Efficacy Scale), anthropometric measures (body mass index and waist circumference), clinical measures (including medication use, resting blood pressure, routine biochemistry, hospitalisations) and harms associated with intervention. A nested qualitative study was conducted.

Results: We randomised 379 participants; 335 patients completed baseline assessments and 243 patients (intervention,  = 127; control,  = 116) completed 6-month assessments. The mean difference in change in physical component summary score from baseline to 6 months between the intervention group and control group was 2.4 arbitrary units (95% confidence interval -0.1 to 4.8 arbitrary units;  = 0.055). Participants in the intervention group had poor compliance (49%) and very poor adherence (18%) to the exercise prescription. The cost of delivering the intervention ranged from £463 to £848 per participant per year. The number of participants with harms was similar in the intervention ( = 69) and control ( = 56) groups.

Limitations: Participants could not be blinded to the intervention; however, outcome assessors were blinded to group allocation.

Conclusions: On trial completion the primary outcome (Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form, version 1.3, physical component summary score) was not statistically improved compared with usual care. The findings suggest that implementation of an intradialytic cycling programme is not an effective intervention to enhance health-related quality of life, as delivered to this cohort of deconditioned patients receiving haemodialysis.

Future Work: The benefits of longer interventions, including progressive resistance training, should be confirmed even if extradialytic delivery is required. Future studies also need to evaluate whether or not there are subgroups of patients who may benefit from this type of intervention, and whether or not there is scope to optimise the exercise intervention to improve compliance and clinical effectiveness.

Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN83508514.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 25, No. 40. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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June 2021

Experiences of functional electrical stimulation (FES) and ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) for foot-drop in people with multiple sclerosis.

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 2015 Nov 6;10(6):458-467. Epub 2014 May 6.

a School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University , Edinburgh , UK.

Purpose: A constructivist phenomenological study explored impacts of ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) or functional electrical stimulation (FES) on people with foot-drop from multiple sclerosis (MS).

Method: Focus groups following topic guides were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, with researcher reflexivity, participant verification and peer checking of analysis. Participants with sustained use of the devices (under 2 y) were invited from two quantitative studies that (a) investigated immediate FES effects (n = 12) and (b) compared habitual use of AFO (n = 7) or FES (n = 6). Two focus groups addressed AFO (n = 4) and FES (n = 6) experiences.

Results: Similar numbers of positive and negative aspects were described for AFO and FES. Both reduced fatigue, improved gait, reduced trips and falls, increased participation, and increased confidence; greater balance/stability was reported for AFOs, and increased walking distance, fitness and physical activity for FES. Barriers to both included avoiding reliance on devices and implications for shoes and clothing; a non-normal gait pattern was reported for AFO, and difficulties of application and limitations in the design of FES. However, participants felt the positives outweighed the negatives.

Conclusions: Participants felt benefits outweighed the drawbacks for AFO and FES; greater understanding of user preferences and satisfaction may increase likelihood of usage and efficacy. Implications for Rehabilitation Interventions to reduce the impacts of foot-drop in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are important to optimise physical activity participation and participation in life; they include ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) and functional electrical stimulation (FES). Research is lacking regarding user satisfaction and perceived outcomes, therefore, two separate focus groups were conducted from a constructivist phenomenological perspective to explore the impacts of AFOs (n = 4) and FES (n = 6) on people with foot-drop from MS. Some similar positive aspects of AFO and FES use were described, including reduced fatigue, improved gait and fewer trips and falls, while common barriers included finding the device cumbersome, uncomfortable, and inconvenient, with some psychological barriers to their use. On balance, the impacts of the devices on improving activities and participation were more important for participants than practical barriers, highlighting the importance of combining understanding of individual experiences and preferences with clinical decision-making when prescribing a device to manage foot-drop.
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November 2015

A Morbidity Screening Tool for identifying fatigue, pain, upper limb dysfunction and lymphedema after breast cancer treatment: a validity study.

Eur J Oncol Nurs 2014 Apr 15;18(2):218-27. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6UU, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate validity of a newly developed Morbidity Screening Tool (MST) to screen for fatigue, pain, swelling (lymphedema) and arm function after breast cancer treatment.

Methods: A cross-sectional study included women attending reviews after completing treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy), without recurrence, who could read English. They completed the MST and comparator questionnaires: Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH), Chronic Pain Grade Questionnaire (CPGQ), Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire (LBCQ) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy questionnaire with subscales for fatigue (FACT F) and breast cancer (FACT B + 4). Bilateral combined shoulder ranges of motion were compared (upward reach; hand behind back) and percentage upper limb volume difference (%LVD =/>10% diagnosed as lymphedema) measured with the vertical perometer (400T).

Results: 613 of 617 participants completed questionnaires (mean age 62.3 years, SD 10.0; mean time since treatment 63.0 months, SD 46.6) and 417 completed objective testing. Morbidity prevalence was estimated as 35.8%, 21.9%, 19.8% and 34.4% for fatigue, impaired upper limb function, lymphedema and pain respectively. Comparing those self-reporting the presence or absence of each type of morbidity, statistically significant differences in comparator variables supported validity of the MST. Statistically significant correlations resulted between MST scores focussing on impact of morbidity, and comparator variables that reflect function and quality of life.

Conclusion: Analysis supports the validity of all four short-forms of the MST as providing indications of both presence of morbidity and impacts on participants' lives. This may facilitate early and appropriate referral for intervention.
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April 2014

Pilates for people with multiple sclerosis who use a wheelchair: feasibility, efficacy and participant experiences.

Disabil Rehabil 2014 19;36(11):932-9. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University , Edinburgh , UK .

Purpose: This mixed methods study aimed to explore the feasibility, efficacy and the participants' experiences of a Pilates programme for people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) who use a wheelchair.

Method: Fifteen pwMS took part in the 12-week Pilates programme. At baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks of the programme, sitting stability, measured as maximum progression of the Centre of Pressure when leaning sideways (COPmax), posture, pain on a Visual Analogue Scale, function, fatigue and the impact of MS (MSIS29) were assessed. Ten participants took part in two focus groups within six weeks of the completion of the programme.

Results: Significant improvements at the 12-week assessment were found in COPmax (p = 0.046), sitting posture (p = 0.004), pain in the shoulders (p = 0.005) and back (p = 0.005) and MSIS29 (p = 0.006). The majority of participants described various physical, functional, psychological and social benefits from participation that reflected increased confidence in activities of daily living. Enjoyment of the classes was expressed by all, and most wished to continue participation.

Conclusions: Pilates appears to be efficacious in improving sitting stability and posture and decreasing pain and was also well tolerated by wheelchair users with MS. Further mixed methods studies are warranted.
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June 2015

Comparison of breast cancer-related lymphedema (upper limb swelling) prevalence estimated using objective and subjective criteria and relationship with quality of life.

Biomed Res Int 2013 18;2013:807569. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Musselburgh, East Lothian, UK.

This study aimed to investigate lymphedema prevalence using three different measurement/diagnostic criterion combinations and explore the relationship between lymphedema and quality of life for each, to provide evaluation of rehabilitation. Cross-sectional data from 617 women attending review appointments after completing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy included the Morbidity Screening Tool (MST; criterion: yes to lymphedema); Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire (LBCQ; criterion: yes to heaviness and/or swelling); percentage limb volume difference (perometer: %LVD; criterion: 10%+ difference); and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy breast cancer-specific quality of life tool (FACT B+4). Perometry measurements were conducted in a clinic room. Between 341 and 577 participants provided sufficient data for each analysis, with mean age varying from 60 to 62 (SD 9.95-10.03) and median months after treatment from 49 to 51. Lymphedema prevalence varied from 26.2% for perometry %LVD to 20.5% for the MST and 23.9% for the LBCQ; differences were not significant. Limits of agreement analysis between %LVD and the subjective measures showed little consistency, while moderate consistency resulted between the subjective measures. Quality of life differed significantly for women with and without lymphedema only when subjective measurements were used. Results suggest that subjective and objective tools investigate different aspects of lymphedema.
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February 2014

User experiences, preferences and choices relating to functional electrical stimulation and ankle foot orthoses for foot-drop after stroke.

Physiotherapy 2011 Sep 2;97(3):226-33. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH216UU, UK.

Objectives: To explore experiences, preferences and choices relating to the use of ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) and functional electrical stimulation (FES) for foot-drop by people who have suffered a stroke and their carers, with the aim of informing clinical decision-making.

Design: Semi-structured interviews explored individual experiences through a phenomenological approach. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis framework was used to enable organisation and interpretation of qualitative interview data.

Setting: Participants who had used both transcutaneous FES and one of several types of AFO were recruited from a single FES clinic.

Participants: Nine people who had suffered a stroke and four carers were recruited purposively, including people between 2 and 9 years post stroke, with different degrees of difficulty in walking.

Results: Participants described experiences, preferences and choices relating to AFO and FES use. All but one person expressed a preference for FES use and related this to being able to move the ankle more freely; walk more normally, safely and independently; and greater comfort. Several people also used AFOs when the FES equipment failed, when travelling and near water. One person rationed their use of FES on a daily basis due to allergic reactions.

Conclusions: The consensus in this sample demonstrated positive and negative experiences of both FES and AFO use. Participants weighed up the pros and cons, and despite predominant preferences for FES, many also used AFOs due to some drawbacks of FES. Further research and development are required to reduce drawbacks and further explore users' experiences.
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September 2011

Processes in the development of international specialist competencies and standards: the Sports Physiotherapy for All Project.

J Allied Health 2008 ;37(3):e221-43

Sports Physiotherapy for All Project, Physiotherapy, Queen Margaret University College, Duke Street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 8HF, UK.

Unlabelled: In a world of rapidly developing knowledge it is important that professions describe their roles and capabilities. The need for a thorough description of sports physiotherapy was addressed through collaboration between the International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (IFSP) and five European higher education institutions. This resulted in the Sports Physiotherapy for All Project, which has been successful in developing internationally accepted competencies and standards for sports physiotherapists. This article describes and reflects on the process to communicate useful lessons.

Methods: A competency model was chosen to facilitate differentiation and communication of aspects of sports physiotherapy practice. Documentation relating to sports physiotherapy practice was collected from 16 countries and analysed thematically. A cut and paste method was used by a panel of experts to allocate themes to areas of practice within the competency model. Theme groups were used to select areas of practice for description in competency form. Standards were derived from competencies following in depth discussion with the expert panel, and triangulation with themes derived from international documentation.

Results: A rigorous process of international review and revision led to the final list of 11 competencies and related standards, both accepted by the IFSP.

Implications: This work provides a foundation for the development of an audit toolkit to guide demonstration and evaluation of competencies and standards. This provides a foundation for targeted career development activities, appropriate provision of training opportunities, and quality enhancement. The experiences gained during this project can inform other health professions and their specialisms when embarking on a similar journey.
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November 2009

Personal meanings, values and feelings relating to physical activity and exercise participation in female undergraduates: a qualitative exploration.

J Health Psychol 2009 Sep;14(6):751-60

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Understanding was sought of the ways that female students understand and feel about physical activity and exercise participation, to inform effective and ethical intervention. Sixteen women participated in semi-structured interviews which were analysed thematically, using QSR NUD*IST 4. Physical activity and exercise proved emotive topics and meant different things to different people. Some women associated physical activity and exercise with enjoyment, or achieving their goals. Others saw exercise in particular as a duty, associated with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Findings supported the value of promoting realistic goals, and careful choice of activities according to individual preferences.
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September 2009

A prospective qualitative exploration of views about attending pulmonary rehabilitation.

Physiother Res Int 2009 Sep;14(3):181-92

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Background And Purpose: Pulmonary rehabilitation has been found to be an effective strategy for managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, attendance at such programmes is not optimal, therefore, this study aimed to develop an in-depth understanding of views regarding attendance at pulmonary rehabilitation and experiences which may have shaped these views.

Methods: An inductive qualitative study was carried out within the framework of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five female and four male individuals with COPD who had been referred for pulmonary rehabilitation participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted prior to participation in pulmonary rehabilitation.

Results: Three main themes were identified that related to views about attending pulmonary rehabilitation. The first is entitled 'Desired benefits of attending pulmonary rehabilitation', which described realistic hopes about impact on daily life. The second theme was called 'Evaluating the threat of exercise', and it encompassed both positive and negative evaluations; some interviewees described fear and avoidance of exercise, while others were determined to overcome symptoms. These attitudes extended to views about pulmonary rehabilitation. The third theme was called 'Attributing value to pulmonary rehabilitation'. Contrasting opinions about the value of attending pulmonary rehabilitation appeared to be influenced by the nature of prior interactions with health personnel and systems as well as information about the programme provided at referral. The referrer's attitude towards pulmonary rehabilitation appeared to be particularly influential.

Conclusion: In summary, when considering rehabilitation attendance, potential participants are able to identify possible benefits, but previous experiences of symptoms and attitudes towards their condition can influence views both positively and negatively. Information and enthusiasm conveyed by the referring clinician, as well as previous interactions with health professionals can have powerful impact on views about attending. Referral practices should be informative and enthusiastic to increase the likelihood of uptake.
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September 2009