Classifying motor coordination impairment in Para swimmers with brain injury

Journal article


Hogarth, Luke, Payton, Carl, Nicholson, Vaughan, Spathis, Jemima, Tweedy, Sean, Connick, Mark, Beckman, Emma, van de Vilet, Peter and Burkett, Brendan. (2019). Classifying motor coordination impairment in Para swimmers with brain injury. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 22(5), pp. 526-531. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2018.11.015
AuthorsHogarth, Luke, Payton, Carl, Nicholson, Vaughan, Spathis, Jemima, Tweedy, Sean, Connick, Mark, Beckman, Emma, van de Vilet, Peter and Burkett, Brendan
Abstract

Objectives
The International Paralympic Committee has mandated that International Sport Federations develop sport-specific classification systems that are evidence-based. This study examined the predictive and convergent validity of instrumented tapping tasks to classify motor coordination impairments in Para swimming.

Design
Cross-sectional.

Methods
Thirty non-disabled participants and twenty-one Para swimmers with brain injury completed several instrumented tapping tasks as an assessment of upper and lower limb motor coordination. Para swimmers also completed a maximal freestyle swim to obtain a performance measure. The predictive and convergent validity of instrumented tapping tasks was examined by establishing differences in test measures between participants with and without brain injury and defining the strength of association between test measures and maximal freestyle swim speed in Para swimmers, respectively.

Results
Random forest successfully classified 96% of participants with and without brain injury using test measures derived from instrumented tapping tasks. Most test measures had moderate to high correlations (r = 0.54 to 0.72; p < 0.01) with maximal freestyle swim speed and collectively explained up to 72% of the variance in maximal freestyle swim performance in Para swimmers with brain injury.

Conclusions
The results of this study evidence the predictive and convergent validity of instrumented tapping tasks to classify motor coordination impairments in Para swimmers with brain injury. These tests can be included in revised Para swimming classification to improve the objectivity and transparency in determining athlete eligibility and sport class for these Para athletes.

Keywordsparalympic; sports for persons with disabilities; swimming; freestyle; classification; cerebral palsy
Year2019
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Journal citation22 (5), pp. 526-531
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN1440-2440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2018.11.015
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85057420989
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range526-531
FunderInternational ParalympicCommittee (IPC)
UK Sport
Exercise and Sports Science Australia
University of the Sunshine Coast
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Author's accepted manuscript
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Open
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Nov 2018
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