This study explored the experiences of elite athletes during the initial stages of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The eight recruited participants (three females, five males) were asked to tell a story of their lockdown experience. Narrative analysis was used to explore the athletes’ stories. The athletes’ narrative is best represented in four distinct sections: (a) threat to goals, (b) ongoing consequences, (c) overcoming COVID-19, and (d) adapting to COVID-19. Four narrative themes were also coconstructed from the athletes’ stories: (a) factors athletes found challenging, (b) loss, (c) strategies that benefitted athletes psychologically, and (d) silver linings. Combined, these findings suggest that the initial stages of lockdown are best described as a critical pause. The authors present applied implications for athletes and sport psychology practitioners. The authors also recommend that future research investigate the longitudinal effect of prolonged lockdown on athletes’ lives and a potential return to sport.
Gabriella Whitcomb-Khan, Nick Wadsworth, Kristin McGinty-Minister, Stewart Bicker, Laura Swettenham, and David Tod
Pablo Fanlo-Mazas, Elena Bueno-Gracia, Alazne Ruiz de Escudero-Zapico, Carlos López-de-Celis, César Hidalgo-García, Jacobo Rodríguez-Sanz, and María Orosia Lucha-López
Context: Localized and widespread hyperalgesia has been observed in patients with patellofemoral pain. Diacutaneous fibrolysis (DF) has shown to be effective in reducing pain in several musculoskeletal conditions including patellofemoral pain syndrome, but no studies have evaluated the effects of this technique in reducing localized and widespread hyperalgesia. Objective: To assess the effect of DF on the pressure pain threshold and muscle length tests in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Design: A single-group, pretest–posttest clinical trial. Setting: University of Zaragoza. Participants: Forty-six subjects with patellofemoral pain (20 males and 26 females: age 27.8 [6.9] y). Intervention: Three sessions of DF. Main Outcome Measures: Pressure pain threshold using a handheld pressure algometer (4 sites around the knee, on tibialis anterior muscle, and one remote site on the upper contralateral limb); muscle length test of the iliotibial band, rectus femoris, and hamstring muscles; and patient-perceived treatment effect score. Results: The application of 3 sessions of DF significantly increased the pressure pain threshold in all sites at posttreatment evaluation (P < .001) and at a 1-week follow-up (P < .001). A significant increase in muscle length was also observed at the posttreatment evaluation (P < .001) and 1-week follow-up (P < .001). Ninety-seven percent of the patients reported subjective improvement at posttreatment and at 1-week follow-up. Conclusion: This study found that local and widespread hyperalgesia was significantly reduced after 3 sessions of diacutaneous fibrolysis and at the 1-week follow-up. A significant improvement on muscle length tests was also observed, with high clinical satisfaction among patients.
Hyeonho Yu, Pamela H. Kulinna, and Shannon C. Mulhearn
Background: Environmental provisions can boost students’ discretionary participation in physical activity (PA) during lunchtime at school. This study investigated the effectiveness of providing PA equipment as an environmental intervention on middle school students’ PA levels and stakeholders’ perceptions of the effectiveness of equipment provisions during school lunch recess. Methods: A baseline–intervention research design was used in this study with a first baseline phase followed by an intervention phase (ie, equipment provision phase). A total of 514 students at 2 middle schools (school 1 and school 2) in a rural area of the western United States were observed directly using the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth instrument. Interviews were conducted with stakeholders. Paired-sample t tests and visual analysis were conducted to explore differences in PA levels by gender, and common comparison (with trustworthiness measures) was used with the interview data. Results: The overall percentage of moderate to vigorous PA levels was increased in both schools (ranging from 8.0% to 24.0%). In school 2, there was a significant difference in seventh- and eighth-grade students’ moderate to vigorous PA levels from the baseline. Three major themes were identified: (1) unmotivated, (2) unequipped, and (3) unquestionable changes (with students becoming more active). Conclusions: Environmental supports (access, equipment, and supervision) significantly and positively influenced middle school students’ lunchtime PA levels.
Danilo Fernandes da Silva, Shuhiba Mohammad, Taniya Singh Nagpal, Sara Carolina Scremin Souza, Rachel C. Colley, and Kristi Bree Adamo
Background: The authors examined whether or not ≤3 days wearing Actical® accelerometers provided acceptable results in comparison with the recommendation of ≥4 days in women across gestation. Methods: A total of 26, 76, and 57 participants at early, mid, and late pregnancy, respectively, were assessed. Participants were instructed to wear the device for 7 days and women who wore it for ≥4 days were included. For each participant, 3, 2, and 1 day(s) were randomly selected. Paired comparisons, intraclass correlations coefficients, and kappa statistics were performed for ≥4 days (criterion) versus 3, 2, and 1 day(s). Averages (in minutes per day) of sedentary time, light, moderate, vigorous, moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) and steps per day were examined. Results: When 3 valid days were compared with the criterion, no significant differences were found for any gestational period. The intraclass correlations coefficients were “high” for all PA-related variables. The k values varied from .819 to .838 across pregnancy (“strong”). Two and 1 valid day(s) versus the criterion showed significant differences in some PA intensities, reduced intraclass correlations coefficients, “moderate” k values for 2 valid days (.638–.788) and “minimal-to-moderate” k values for 1 valid day (.367–.755). Conclusion: In pregnant women during early, mid, and late pregnancy, PA data obtained from 3 valid days of wear was equivalent and agreed with ≥4 valid days.
Laura Prieto, Michael L. Norris, and Luis Columna
The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and their care partners (CPs) who participated in a Parkinson’s-focused community dance class in a northeastern state of the United States. In this qualitative inquiry, participants included five PwP and their respective CPs (n = 5). Three major, recurrent, and interrelated themes emerged from the data. These themes were (a) keep moving, (b) compassion in action, and (c) acceptance and freedom in dance. These themes captured personal and environmental factors that influenced the participation of PwP and their CPs in a dance class and how they perceived that dance influenced their quality of life. The themes described the obstacles, motives, and perceived outcomes of participating in dance. The findings emphasize the need for future dance interventions and programs that consider the CPs’ role in promoting participation for PwP in dance classes.
Kyoungyoun Park-Braswell, Sandra J. Shultz, and Randy J. Schmitz
Context: Greater anterior knee laxity (AKL) is associated with impaired sensory input and decreased functional knee stability. As functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard for understanding brain function, methods to load the anterior cruciate ligament in the MRI environment could further our understanding of the ligament’s sensory role in knee joint stability. Objective: To design and validate an MRI-compatible anterior knee joint loading device. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: University laboratory study. Participants: Sixteen healthy and physically active females participated (age = 23.4 [3.7] y; mass = 64.4 [8.4] kg). Interventions: The AKL was assessed by a commercially available arthrometer. The AKL was also assessed with a custom-made, MRI-compatible device that produced anterior knee joint loading in a manner similar to the commercial arthrometer while obtaining dynamic structural MRI data. Main Outcome Measurements: The AKL (in millimeters) at 133 N of loading was assessed with the commercial knee arthrometer. Anterior displacement of the tibia relative to the femur obtained at 133 N of loading was measured from dynamic MRI data obtained during usage of the custom device. Pearson correlations were used to examine relationships between the 2 measures. The 95% limits of agreement compared the absolute differences between the 2 devices. Results: There was a 3.2-mm systematic difference between AKL (6.3 [1.6] mm) and anterior tibial translation (3.2 [1.0] mm) measures. There was a significant positive correlation between values obtained from the commercial arthrometer and the MRI-compatible device values (r = .553, P = .026). Conclusions: While systematic differences were observed, the MRI-compatible anterior knee joint loading device anteriorly translated the tibia relative to the femur in a similar manner to a commercial arthrometer design to stress the anterior cruciate ligament. Such a device may be beneficial in future functional magnetic resonance imaging study of anterior cruciate ligament mechanoreception.
Elnaz Emadirad, Brad W.N. Temple, Stephanie C. Field, Patti-Jean Naylor, and Viviene A. Temple
Background: Beyond the often examined perceptions of competence and motor skill proficiency, perceived value and children’s expectations for success are thought to affect engagement in physical activities. We used parallel mediation models to examine the direct effect of motor skill proficiency on participation in physical activities, as well as whether children’s beliefs and value for physical activities mediated this relationship. Methods: The participants in this cross-sectional study were a total of 398 grade 3 children (201 girls) from 8 schools. Motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, the Value Expectancy Questionnaire measured the psychological variables, and the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment measured physical activities. Results: Motor skill proficiency predicted all 3 psychological constructs for the boys and the girls, and boys’ participation in physical activities. However, the psychological variables did not mediate the relationship between motor skills and participation among the boys. For the girls, task value mediated the relationship between motor skills and physical activity participation. Conclusion: It is possible that the girls are further along in their ability to reflect on their competence, successes, and failures; it is also possible that the lower motor skill levels of girls had a deleterious effect on their feelings about participating.
Adesola C. Odole, Olawale T. Agbomeji, Ogochukwu K.K. Onyeso, Joshua O. Ojo, and Nse A. Odunaiya
Background: Athletes’ perceptions toward physiotherapy services have an impact on their general attitude toward these services and their willingness to work together with physiotherapists for rehabilitation. The study investigated athletes’ perspectives of physiotherapy services in sports injury management. Methods: A mixed-study design of a cross-sectional survey that involved 178 conveniently sampled athletes and an explanatory qualitative study (8 purposively-selected athletes) was used. The authors assessed the participants’ knowledge and perception of physiotherapy services using the modified versions of the Athletes’ Level of Knowledge Questionnaire, Matsuno Athletes Perception Scale, and focus group discussion. The data were analyzed using chi-square, Spearman correlation at P ≤ .05, and deductive reasoning thematic analysis. Results: The age of the participants for the cross-sectional survey (131 men and 47 women) was 22.50 (7.51) years. Our results showed that the majority (91.6%) of them had adequate knowledge and (78.7%) positive perception about the role physiotherapists play in sports injury management. The participants’ knowledge of physiotherapy services had a significantly positive correlation with age (ρ = .12; P = .01), sporting years (ρ = .17; P = .02), and duration in sports council (ρ = .19; P = .01), while their perception showed a negative correlation with age (ρ = −.15; P = .05), sporting years (ρ = −.16; P = .03), and duration in sports council (ρ = −.08; P = .02). However, no significant correlation existed between the participants’ knowledge; perception and level of education; level of competition; type of sport; and type, nature, and severity of sport injury. Seven themes were generated from the focus group discussion. Conclusion: The participants reported adequate knowledge and a positive perception of physiotherapy services. The correlates of participants’ knowledge and perception of physiotherapy services are age, sporting years, and duration in the sports council. From the qualitative component of the study, the authors identified the need to provide more physiotherapy services to athletes and more facilities for physiotherapy services.