Research: Discovering the Next Step
According Christman 2014, “Research is a systematic inquiry that investigates hypotheses, suggests new interpretations of data or texts, and poses new questions for future research to explore. Research consists of: Asking a question in a way that that no one has asked it before; doing the necessary work to find the answer; and communicating the knowledge you have acquired to a larger audience, “ (para 1).
Each of the articles I chose center around improving the lives of those who struggle with physical challenges, specifically a condition known as Foot Drop caused by spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy. According to the Mayo Clinic 2011: “Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a general term for difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. If you have foot drop, you may drag the front of your foot on the ground when you walk.
Foot drop isn't a disease. Rather, foot drop is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.
Sometimes foot drop is temporary. In other cases, foot drop is permanent. If you have foot drop, you may need to wear a brace on your ankle and foot to hold your foot in a normal position,” (para. 1-3).
The purpose of the first study by Olama, Nour El-Din and Ibrahem 2012, was, “To determine the role of three side support ankle–foot orthosis in improving the balance in children with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy,” (para. 4). The question created was, would implementing the use of a three sided foot/leg brace, increase the stability, posture and flexibility of movement for a child with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy? The hypothesis was, that three-sided ankle support would provide for greater stabilization than that of an often used non-three sided ankle-foot orthosis, (AFO).
According to Olama (et. al.) 2012, research involved 30 children of both sexes from who ranged in age from three- six years old. Each child had been previously diagnosed with the condition of spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy. The control group consisted of fifteen children and the study group consisted of the remaining fifteen. According to Olma (et. al.) 2012, All of the children met the following criteria:
They had some level of spasticity in their lower extremities, but were able to stand with support. They had an IQ of 70% or better, and all of them did not have permanent deformities of the lower extremities. The study group was given an exercise/physical therapy regimen along with the AFO, being tested, and the control group was given only the exercise/therapy regimen.
The independent variables that were introduced included the three-sided AFO, which in theory provided a wider base for the affected foot/feet to rest in, the types of exercises that each child was prescribed. The dependent variables include, the age of the children, the fact that they all have spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects their gait, posture and movement.
The second article I researched, written by, Morone, Fusco, Di Capua, Coiro, and Pratesi, (2012), was called: Walking Training with Foot Drop Stimulator Controlled by a Tilt Sensor to Improve Walking Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study in Patients with Stroke in Subacute Phase.
According to Morone et. al. (2012), “The principal aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the neuromuscular functional electrical stimulation (NMES), device in terms of walking speed in patients with stroke in a subacute phase. The secondary aim was to verify the effects on walking capacity, mobility and spasticity,” (para. 5).
In this particular study, the brand of the NMES is “WalkAide. The question therefore becomes, does the NMES device make walking for individuals who have experienced a stroke in a subacute phase (resulting in drop foot), more efficient? The hypothesis presented was that indeed the NMES, specifically the WalkAide, would make