OI Society of Australia Sponsored Research

In 2016 the OI Society of Australia is funding the following research.

Physical Activity in Children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

What is the study looking at?

The research project will investigate physical activity of children and adolescents with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, is undertaking this project in collaboration with Macquarie University, allowing students from the Doctor of Physiotherapy program to complete research projects in their final year of study.

The study will investigate current levels of physical activity in children with OI, as well as beliefs and confidence regarding physical activity, common barriers to physical activity experienced, and whether movement of joints, muscle strength, walking ability, and balance and bone health relate to the amount of physical activity that they currently do. By undertaking this research we hope to better understand the factors that influence physical activity in children and adolescents with OI, to develop strategies to ensure children with OI can lead happy, healthy, active lives into the future.

Progress – March 2016

After being granted ethics and governance approval from The Children’s Hospital Westmead, participant recruitment began in late December 2015. Data collection began in late January and is anticipated to continue until December 2016. To date, eight participants have been recruited.

All participants in the study will be provided with feedback on their performance in the initial physical assessment, as well as physical activity data collected during the course of the study.

Progress – May 2016

Recruited 33 families to participate in the study. Only a handful of families have declined. These children range from 5-17 years of age, boys and girls, and all types of OI.

The study has a number of areas to it, and 26/33 families have agreed to/or have completed wearing the objective physical activity monitors. All 33 families have completed the physical activity questionnaire and objective assessment.

The 4 Macquarie University Physiotherapy students who have been assisting with the study have now finished their time attending the hospital to assist with recruitment. They are currently writing up their theses for their course, with the topics including –

  • Barriers to physical activity participation in children with OI
  • Physical activity self-efficacy (parent and child report) of children with OI
  • Balance and physical activity in children with mild OI
  • Physical activity participation of children with OI in comparison to their typically developing healthy peers

These studies will be presented to the CHW Endocrinology department and CTD team by the students at the end of June.

Further data collection will be undertaken and the results of the work will be published early 2017.

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Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder that causes a person's bones to break easily, often from little or no apparent trauma. OI is also called "brittle bone disease." OI varies in severity from person to person, ranging from a mild type to a severe type that causes death before or shortly after birth.

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