Cluster analysis of impairment measures to inform an evidence-based classification structure in RaceRunning, a new World Para Athletics event for athletes with hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis

Marietta L. van der Linden, Orla Corrigan, Nicola Tennant, Martine Verheul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

RaceRunning enables athletes with limited or no walking ability to propel themselves independently using a three-wheeled frame that has a saddle, handle bars and a chest plate. For RaceRunning to be included as a para athletics event, an evidence-based classification system is required. This study assessed the impact of trunk control and lower limb impairment measures on RaceRunning performance and evaluated whether cluster analysis of these impairment measures produces a valid classification structure for RaceRunning. The Trunk Control Measurement Scale (TCMS), Selective Control Assessment of the Lower Extremity (SCALE), the Australian Spasticity Assessment Scale (ASAS), and knee extension were recorded for 26 RaceRunning athletes. Thirteen male and 13 female athletes aged 24 (SD = 7) years participated. All impairment measures were significantly correlated with performance (rho = 0.55–0.74). Using ASAS, SCALE, TCMS and knee extension as cluster variables in a two-step cluster analysis resulted in two clusters of athletes. Race speed and the impairment measures were significantly different between the clusters (p < 0.001). The findings of this study provide evidence for the utility of the selected impairment measures in an evidence-based classification system for RaceRunning athletes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date18 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • disability sport
  • RaceRunning
  • classification
  • cerebral palsy
  • Para Athletics
  • coordination

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Cluster analysis of impairment measures to inform an evidence-based classification structure in RaceRunning, a new World Para Athletics event for athletes with hypertonia, ataxia or athetosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this