Reports on body sway control following microdiscectomy lack reports on side-specific balance deficits as well as the effects of trunk balance control deficits on body sway during upright stances. About 3 weeks post microdiscectomy, the body sway of 27 patients and 25 controls was measured while standing in an upright quiet stance with feet positioned parallel on an unstable support surface, a tandem stance with the involved leg positioned in front or at the back, a single-leg stance with both legs, and sitting on an unstable surface. Velocity, average amplitude, and frequency-direction–specific parameters were analyzed from the center of pressure movement, measured by the force plate. Statistically significant differences between the 2 groups were observed for the medial–lateral body sway frequency in parallel stance on a stable and unstable support surface and for the sitting balance task in medial-lateral body sway parameters. Medium to high correlations were observed between body sway during sitting and the parallel stance, as well as between the tandem and single-legged stances. Following microdiscectomy, deficits in postural balance were side specific, as expected by the nature of the pathology. In addition, the results of this study confirmed the connection between proximal balance control deficits and balance during upright quiet balance tasks.
Ziva M. Rosker, Jernej Rosker, and Nejc Sarabon
Nima Dehghansai, Daniel Spedale, Melissa J. Wilson, and Joseph Baker
Little is known about the factors influencing Paralympic athletes’ journey to expertise and whether these athletes have trajectories similar to those of their able-bodied (AB) peers. The purpose of this project was to compare the developmental trajectories of wheelchair and AB basketball players. A total of 150 participants completed the Developmental History of Athletes Questionnaire. Results revealed that while AB athletes reached early career milestones at a significantly younger age, athletes with congenital impairments reached midcareer milestones at similar ages to AB athletes. In addition, athletes with acquired impairments were able to reach key late-career performance milestones (i.e., national and international debuts) at a similar age to the other two groups. The findings from this study suggest complex developmental pathways that may not be reflected in current developmental models. Therefore, the authors suggest that scientists and practitioners be cognizant of context-specific needs when providing training recommendations.
Laura A. Prieto, Justin A. Haegele, and Luis Columna
The purpose of this systematic review was to examine published research literature pertaining to dance programs for school-age individuals with disabilities by describing study characteristics and major findings. Electronic database searches were conducted to identify relevant articles published between January 2008 and August 2018. Sixteen articles met all inclusion criteria, and extracted data from the articles included major findings, study design characteristics (e.g., sample size), and dance program characteristics (e.g., location of program). The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool. Major findings expand on previous reviews on dance by including school-age individuals with disabilities. The critical appraisal of the articles demonstrates a gap in study design rigor between studies. Future research should aim to specify sampling strategies, use theories to frame the impact of dance programs, and provide a thorough description of ethical processes and dance classes.
ZáNean McClain, Jill Pawlowski, and Kip Webster
Margarita D. Tsiros, Emily J. Ward, Sophie Lefmann, and Susan Hillier
The aim of this study was to describe and undertake an initial evaluation of a student-led assessment service for children with possible motor-skill difficulties. A secondary analysis of cross-sectional descriptive clinical data collected from 2015 to 2016 was undertaken. Children (N = 102) were assessed in preschools by physiotherapy students (supervised by qualified physiotherapists). Key outcomes included the following: Children’s Activities Scale, Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2, and demographic/service-usage/onward referral statistics. The results highlighted that for every five children referred/assessed, two were at risk of motor-skill difficulties (∼43%). About 66% of children were subsequently referred on or monitored (40% requiring multidisciplinary follow-up). Conversely 34% of children did not require further services. In conclusion, a student-led assessment service may be a sustainable and feasible option to assist children at risk of motor-skill difficulties, enabling onward referral. Additional evaluation is required to garner stakeholder feedback.
Jian Xu, Poram Choi, Robert W. Motl, and Stamatis Agiovlasitis
Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior may contribute to physical function in adults with intellectual disability (ID). This study examined whether objectively measured PA and sedentary behavior levels are associated with physical performance in adults with ID. Fifty-eight adults with ID (29 women and 29 men, age 44 ± 14 years) underwent a measurement of physical performance with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and PA and sedentary time using a hip-worn accelerometer (wGT3X-BT; ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL). Moderate PA and age were significantly associated with the SPPB score (r = .39 and .34, respectively; p < .01). A hierarchical-regression model with moderate PA and age as independent variables indicated that moderate PA was a significant predictor of SPPB (p < .001; R2 = .153), but age was not (p = .123; R2 change = .036). Overall, moderate PA was significantly associated with the SPPB score, even after accounting for age, in adults with ID.
Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, and Xihe Zhu
The purpose of this study was to describe the reflections of adults with visual impairments about learning to run during K–12 physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and eight adults (age 22–35 years) with visual impairments served as participants. Primary data sources were semistructured, audiotaped telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on a thematic data analysis process, two themes were developed: (a) “I wouldn’t expect anything better from you”: running instruction in physical education and (b) “You look like the guy in the crosswalk signal”: making up for the shortcomings of physical education. The narratives portraying these themes highlight the lack of instruction that took place in physical education, and the fact that no running instruction occurred at all. These findings indicate that professionals working with individuals with visual impairments should use instructional strategies that will allow for maximum access to learning fundamental movement skills such as running.
Samantha J.D. Jeske, Lawrence R. Brawley, and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos
Videoconferencing is a novel method for overcoming time and transportation barriers to leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) interventions. This study examined the feasibility of a group videoconference intervention on LTPA self-regulatory skills training in a sample of nine adults with spinal cord injury (SCI). Session implementation checklists and self-report surveys were administered during four weekly sessions to assess intervention management, group processes, intervention resources, and initial efficacy. Attendance rate was high (91.7%), and the average weekly session duration was 79.6 min. Participants reported high ratings of group cohesion, facilitator collaboration, session content comprehension, and ease in operating the videoconference platform. Knowledge sharing among the group ranged from 18 to 58 exchanges per session, demonstrating learning and group cohesion. LTPA frequency increased among 44% of participants, and 22% of participants achieved the SCI-specific aerobic guidelines. Overall, group videoconferencing holds promise for LTPA support among adults with SCI. Long-term research is warranted to test LTPA self-regulatory and behavioral effects.
Steven K. Holland and Justin A. Haegele
The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning that first-year adapted physical education teachers with a master’s degree ascribed to their occupational socialization experiences. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and occupational socialization theory was adopted as the theoretical framework. Five teachers participated in this study. The sources of data were a semistructured focus group interview, semistructured one-to-one interviews, and reflective interview notes. Thematic development involved a three-step analysis process informed by the research approach. Three themes were constructed: (a) interactions with individuals with disabilities and activity experiences, (b) recruitment of adapted physical education teacher education students, and (c) graduate training and initial workplace experiences. The constructed themes provide unique insight into how teachers are socialized into adapted physical education and the meaning they ascribe to various socialization experiences, such as the limited impact that interactions with individuals with disabilities had on the decision to pursue this career.
Rebecca L. Krupenevich, William H. Clark, Gregory S. Sawicki, and Jason R. Franz
Ankle joint quasi-stiffness is an aggregate measure of the interaction between triceps surae muscle stiffness and Achilles tendon stiffness. This interaction may be altered due to age-related changes in the structural properties and functional behavior of the Achilles tendon and triceps surae muscles. The authors hypothesized that, due to a more compliant of Achilles’ tendon, older adults would exhibit lower ankle joint quasi-stiffness than young adults during walking and during isolated contractions at matched triceps surae muscle activations. The authors also hypothesized that, independent of age, triceps surae muscle stiffness and ankle joint quasi-stiffness would increase with triceps surae muscle activation. The authors used conventional gait analysis in one experiment and, in another, electromyographic biofeedback and in vivo ultrasound imaging applied during isolated contractions. The authors found no difference in ankle joint quasi-stiffness between young and older adults during walking. Conversely, this study found that (1) young and older adults modulated ankle joint quasi-stiffness via activation-dependent changes in triceps surae muscle length–tension behavior and (2) at matched activation, older adults exhibited lower ankle joint quasi-stiffness than young adults. Despite age-related reductions during isolated contractions, ankle joint quasi-stiffness was maintained in older adults during walking, which may be governed via activation-mediated increases in muscle stiffness.