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Feasibility and Preliminary Effectiveness of an Online Meditation Intervention in Young Adults With Concussion History

Christine E. Callahan, Kyla Z. Donnelly, Susan A. Gaylord, Keturah R. Faurot, J.D. DeFreese, Adam W. Kiefer, and Johna K. Register-Mihalik

Context: Mindfulness interventions (yoga, meditation) in traumatic brain injury populations show promising improvements in injury outcomes. However, most studies include all injury severities and use in-person, general programming lacking accessibility and specificity to the nuance of concussion. Therefore, this study investigated the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of an online, concussion-focused meditation intervention among young adults with a concussion history. Design: Unblinded, single-arm, pilot intervention. Methods: Fifteen young adults aged 18 to 30 with a concussion history within the past 5 years completed 10 to 20 minutes per day of online, guided meditations for 6 weeks. Feasibility was assessed using the Feasibility of Intervention Measure. Concussion symptoms were measured using the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptom Questionnaire, perceived stress the Perceived Stress Scale-10, and mindfulness the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics described the study sample and determined intervention adherence and feasibility. Paired sample t tests were used to examine preintervention/postintervention changes in concussion symptoms, perceived stress, and mindfulness, with descriptive statistics further detailing significant t tests. Results: Fifteen participants were enrolled, and 12 completed the intervention. The majority completed 5+ days per week of the meditations, and Feasibility of Intervention Measure (17.4 [1.8]) scores indicated high feasibility. Concussion symptom severity significantly decreased after completing the meditation intervention (11.3 [10.3]) compared with before the intervention (24.5 [17.2]; t[11] = 3.0, P = .01). The number of concussion symptoms reported as worse than before their concussion significantly decreased after completing the meditation intervention (2.7 [3.9]) compared with before the intervention (8.0 [5.7]; t[11] = 3.7, P = .004). Postintervention, 83.33% (n = 10) reported lower concussion symptom severity, and 75.00% (n = 9) reported less concussion symptoms as a mild, moderate, or severe problem (ie, worse than before injury). Conclusions: Findings suggest positive adherence and feasibility of the meditation intervention, with the majority reporting concussion symptom improvement postintervention. Future research is necessary to expand these pilot findings into a large trial investigating concussion-specific meditation programming.

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Gender (In)Equity in the Brazilian Paralympic Committee Coverage of the Paralympic Games

Ianamary M. Marcondes, Ruth E. Cidade, Josep Solves, and Doralice L. de Souza

This study investigated the following questions: Was there gender equity in the coverage by the Brazilian Paralympic Committee of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games? If not, what were the main differences in the treatment of male and female athletes? We compiled all of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee’s publications during both Paralympic Games editions, computed their distribution by gender, and assessed whether the newsworthiness criteria and aspects of text composition were consistently applied across genders. We conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of all available publications on the committee’s website during both events. We found that women received less visibility, fewer speech quotations, and fewer protagonist roles. Additionally, we observed that the application of newsworthiness criteria favored men. Our findings reveal issues that can contribute to advancing gender equity in the coverage of national paralympic committees and other media outlets.

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Cardiorespiratory Markers Relate to Change-of-Direction Performance During Incremental Endurance Tests and Friendly Matches in Professional Male Handball Players

Leonard Achenbach, Christoph Zinner, Florian Zeman, and Matthias Obinger

Purpose: To compare the standard Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (IR) test and an agility Yo-Yo IR test with a higher number of change-of-direction movements to cardiorespiratory match performance. Methods: The study included 11 professional male handball players (age 24.5 [4.6] y) of a German second-league team. The performance parameters of the players of the seasons 2016–17 to 2018–19 were analyzed. The Yo-Yo IR test was compared to a Yo-Yo IR test with multiple multidirectional changes of direction in response to visual stimuli, which was conducted on a SpeedCourt (Yo-Yo SC IR). Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and maximum heart rate (HRmax) were measured. Between-methods differences of individual athletes were quantified with Bland–Altman plots. Results: HRmax was not statistically different during the Yo-Yo SC IR test compared to the Yo-Yo IR test (181 [10] vs 188 [8] beats·min−1; P = .16). Agreement between the 2 tests was moderate for HRmax and good for heart rates >180 beats·min−1. Mean average VO2peak was 51.7 (3.9) and 50.9 (2.8) mL·min–1·kg–1 for the Yo-Yo SC IR test and the Yo-Yo IR test (P = .693), respectively. Conclusions: A Yo-Yo test with multidirectional changes of direction in response to visual stimuli yielded good agreement with the frequently used linear running tests and can be used to assess players’ VO2peak. The HRmax achieved during this test should be used with caution.

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Osteoarthritic Tibiofemoral Joint Contact Characteristics During Weightbearing With Arch-Supported and Standalone Lateral Wedge Insoles

Calvin T.F. Tse, Michael B. Ryan, Natasha M. Krowchuk, Alexander Scott, and Michael A. Hunt

Imbalanced joint load distribution across the tibiofemoral surface is a risk factor for osteoarthritic changes to this joint. Lateral wedge insoles, with and without arch support, are a form of biomechanical intervention that can redistribute tibiofemoral joint load, as estimated by external measures of knee load. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of these insoles on the internal joint contact characteristics of osteoarthritic knees during weightbearing. Fifteen adults with tibiofemoral osteoarthritis underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the affected knee, while standing under 3 insole conditions: flat control, lateral wedge alone, and lateral wedge with arch support. Images were processed, and the surface area and centroid location of joint contact were quantified separately for the medial and lateral tibiofemoral compartments. Medial contact surface area was increased with the 2 lateral wedge conditions compared with the control (P ≤ .012). A more anterior contact centroid was observed in the medial compartment in the lateral wedge with arch support compared with the lateral wedge alone (P = .009). Significant changes in lateral compartment joint contact outcomes were not observed. These findings represent early insights into how loading at the tibiofemoral interface may be altered by lateral wedge insoles as a potential intervention for knee osteoarthritis.

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Reliability of Three Landmine-Punch-Throw Variations and Their Load–Velocity Relationships Performed With the Dominant and Nondominant Hands

Dan Omcirk, Tomas Vetrovsky, Cian O’Dea, Alan Ruddock, Daniel Wilson, Jan Maleček, Jan Padecky, Martin Tino Janikov, and James J. Tufano

Purpose: This study assessed the reliability and load–velocity profiles of 3 different landmine-punch-throw variations (seated without trunk rotation, seated with trunk rotation, and standing whole body) with different loads (20, 22.5, and 25.0 kg), all with the dominant hand and nondominant hand. Methods: In a quasi-randomized order, 14 boxers (24.1 [4.3] y, 72.6 [10.1] kg) performed 3 repetitions of each variation with their dominant hand and their nondominant hand, with maximal effort and 3 minutes of interset rest. Peak velocity was measured via the GymAware Power Tool (Kinetic Performance Technologies). The interclass correlation coefficients and their 95% CIs were used to determine the intrasession reliability of each variation × load × hand combination. Additionally, a 2 (hand) × 3 (variation) repeated-measures analysis of variance assessed the load–velocity profile slope, and a 3 (variation) × 2 (hand) × 3 (load) repeated-measures analysis of variance assessed the peak velocity of each variation. Results: Most variations were highly reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient > .91), with the nondominant hand being as reliable or more reliable than the dominant hand. Very strong linear relationships were observed for the group average for each variation (R 2 ≥ .96). However, there was no variation × hand interaction for the slope, and there was no main effect for variation or hand. Additionally, there was no interaction for the peak velocity, but there were main effects for variation, hand, and load (P < .01). Conclusion: Each variation was reliable and can be used to create upper-body ballistic unilateral load–velocity profiles. However, as with other research on load–velocity profile, individual data allowed for more accurate profiling than group average data.

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The Role of Musculoskeletal Training During Return to Performance Following Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

Richard C. Blagrove, Katherine Brooke-Wavell, Carolyn R. Plateau, Carolyn Nahman, Amal Hassan, and Trent Stellingwerff

Background: Relative energy deficiency in sport (REDs) is a condition that is associated with negative health and performance outcomes in athletes. Insufficient energy intake relative to exercise energy expenditure, resulting in low energy availability, is the underlying cause, which triggers numerous adverse physiological consequences including several associated with musculoskeletal (MSK) health and neuromuscular performance. Purpose: This commentary aims to (1) discuss the health and performance implications of REDs on the skeletal and neuromuscular systems and (2) examine the role that MSK training (ie, strength and plyometric training) during treatment and return to performance following REDs might have on health and performance in athletes, with practical guidelines provided. Conclusions: REDs is associated with decreases in markers of bone health, lean body mass, maximal and explosive strength, and muscle work capacity. Restoration of optimal energy availability, mainly through an increase in energy intake, is the primary goal during the initial treatment of REDs with a return to performance managed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. MSK training is an effective nonpharmacological component of treatment for REDs, which offers multiple long-term health and performance benefits, assuming the energy needs of athletes are met as part of their recovery. Supervised, prescribed, and gradually progressive MSK training should include a combination of resistance training and high-impact plyometric-based exercise to promote MSK adaptations, with an initial focus on achieving movement competency. Progressing MSK training exercises to higher intensities will have the greatest effects on bone health and strength performance in the long term.

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Active Learning Through Video Conferencing to Maintain Physical Activity Among Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Kazuki Uemura, Tsukasa Kamitani, Atsuya Watanabe, Hiroshi Okamoto, Kenshi Saho, and Minoru Yamada

This randomized pilot trial investigated the feasibility of an active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing and its preliminary effects. Participants comprised community-dwelling older adults who could use e-mail. The intervention group underwent a 12-week active learning intervention via video conferencing to promote a healthy lifestyle, particularly physical activity. The control group received information via e-mail once per week. The amount of physical activity and sedentary behavior was measured using an accelerometer at baseline, postintervention, and 24-week postintervention (36 weeks). Of the 31 participants, 29 were eligible and randomized into two groups (15 for the intervention and 14 for the control). Adherence to the intervention was 83%–100% (mean, 97%). Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed moderate maintenance effects on total physical activity and sedentary behavior at 36 weeks. Active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing was found to be feasible and contributed to the prevention of physical activity decline in older adults.

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Volume 17 (2024): Issue 2 (Jun 2024)

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Volume 19 (2024): Issue 6 (Jun 2024)

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Volume 32 (2024): Issue 3 (Jun 2024)