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Sara L. Giovannetti, Jessica R.G. Robertson, Heather L. Colquhoun and Cindy K. Malachowski

University student-athletes are equally vulnerable to mental health challenges compared to their non-athlete peers, but they access mental health services with less frequency. This study sought to explore the mental health issues experienced by Canadian student-athletes in order to address the question: how can Canadian universities better meet the mental health needs of student-athletes? An electronic survey was distributed to student-athletes at a large Canadian university. Data from 113 respondents were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Stress and pressure were reported as the most prevalent contributors to mental health issues, and 47% of respondents indicated that there was a time in which they wanted to seek services for their mental health, but chose not to. Respondents identified mental health education for coaches and designating a healthcare professional within the athletic department as beneficial resources. Findings from this study can inform local and national mental health service planning for student-athletes.

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Gregory Knell, Deborah Salvo, Kerem Shuval, Casey Durand, Harold W. Kohl III and Kelley P. Gabriel

Recent technological advances allow for field-based data collection of accelerometers in community-based studies. Mail-based administration can markedly reduce the cost and logistic challenges and burden associated with in-person data collection. It necessitates, however, other resources, such as phone calls and mailed reminder prompts, to increase protocol compliance and data recovery. Additionally, lost accelerometers can impact the study’s budget and its internal validity due to missing data. In this article, we present an applied methodological approach used to define thresholds (or cutoff points) at which pursuing unreturned accelerometers is a worthwhile versus futile pursuit. This methodological approach was designed, specifically, to maximize scalability across multiple sectors. We used data from an on-going study that administered accelerometers through the mail to illustrate and encourage investigators to replicate the approach for use in their own studies. In heterogeneous study samples, investigators might consider repeating this approach by study-relevant strata to refine thresholds and improve the return percentages of data collection instruments, minimize the potential missing data, and optimize study staff time and resources.

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Pilar Lavielle Sotomayor, Gerardo Huitron Bravo, Analí López Fernández and Juan Talavera Piña

Objective: To assess the meaning of a physical activity prescription (PAP) from the physician’s point of view and to examine current PAP-related clinical practices and stage of change, including the factors that influence them. Methods: Mixed methodology was applied to obtain valid, high-quality data. During the qualitative phase, the “free-listing” technique was used to explore the “cultural domain” of a physician’s perception of PAP, as well as the construction of culturally relevant items used during the last phase of the study. A survey was conducted to evaluate clinical practices, attitudes, and physician state of change regarding PAP. The convenience sample of 58 (qualitative phase) and 350 internists (quantitative phase) who attended the International Congress of Internal Medicine was interviewed. Results: A majority of internist reported having adequate knowledge, positive attitude, being in the maintenance phase with no barriers to prescribe physical activity (PA). Prescription was associated with physician training, their workplace, and experience. However, physicians do not satisfactorily evaluate the level of patient’s PA nor recommend an adequate level of PA, which is necessary to achieve health goals. Conclusions: Physicians had great acceptance of PAP. However, there were low levels of knowledge of current PA guidelines, although most physicians thought they had sufficient knowledge. Training seems to be an excellent way to improve PAP.

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Breanna Drew and James Matthews

The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms within student-athletes and to examine protective factors which may act as a buffer against mental ill-health. A cross-sectional design was employed. A sample of 185 student-athletes (M = 20.77; SD = .50; 35% female) agreed to take part. Participants completed measures of depression, anxiety, psychological resilience and formal and informal help-seeking behavior. Thirty one percent of student-athletes reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Student-athletes who reported requiring professional help for problems were more likely to record moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. Student-athletes who did not seek informal support were more likely to report symptom levels for depression outside the normal range. Higher resilience scores were associated with lower symptom reporting for both depression and anxiety. Practical implications for supporting student-athletes’ mental health across institutional, interpersonal and intrapersonal levels are discussed.

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Ryan S. Garten, Matthew C. Scott, Tiffany M. Zúñiga, Austin C. Hogwood, R. Carson Fralin and Jennifer Weggen

Background: This study sought to determine the impact of an acute prior bout of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on attenuating the vascular dysfunction associated with a prolonged sedentary bout. Methods: Ten young (24 ± 1 y) healthy males completed two 3-hour sessions of prolonged sitting with (SIT-EX) and without (SIT) a high-intensity interval aerobic exercise session performed immediately prior. Prior to and 3 hours into the sitting bout, leg vascular function was assessed with the passive leg movement technique, and blood samples were obtained from the lower limb to evaluate changes in oxidative stress (malondialdehyde and superoxide dismutase) and inflammation (interleukin-6). Results: No presitting differences in leg vascular function (assessed via passive leg movement technique-induced hyperemia) were revealed between conditions. After 3 hours of prolonged sitting, leg vascular function was significantly reduced in the SIT condition, but unchanged in the SIT-EX. Lower limb blood samples revealed no alterations in oxidative stress, antioxidant capacity, or inflammation in either condition. Conclusions: This study revealed that lower limb vascular dysfunction was significantly attenuated by an acute presitting bout of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise. Further analysis of lower limb blood samples revealed no changes in circulating oxidative stress or inflammation in either condition.

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Misia Gervis, Helen Pickford and Thomas Hau

The purpose of this study was to investigate counselors’ professional understanding of the long-term psychological consequences of injury in UK football players. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 counselors who were registered to work for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). The interviews examined the counselors’ perception of the relationship between long-term injury and presenting mental health issues, the antecedents to those mental health issues, and recommendations for psychological intervention following injury. The critical finding was the mental health problems regularly presented to PFA counselors were often the psychological and behavioral consequences of long-term injury. Counselors recommended that early and sustained psychological intervention with long-term injured players would act as a preventative measure against future mental health issues.

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Pauline M. Genin, Frédéric Dutheil, Benjamin Larras, Yoland Esquirol, Yves Boirie, Angelo Tremblay, Bruno Pereira, Corinne Praznoczy, David Thivel and Martine Duclos

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Alex V. Rowlands, Tatiana Plekhanova, Tom Yates, Evgeny M. Mirkes, Melanie Davies, Kamlesh Khunti and Charlotte L. Edwardson

Introduction: To capitalize on the increasing availability of accelerometry data for epidemiological research it is desirable to compare and/or pool data from surveys worldwide. This study aimed to establish whether free-living physical activity outcomes can be considered equivalent between three research-grade accelerometer brands worn on the dominant and non-dominant wrist. Of prime interest were the average acceleration (ACC) and the intensity gradient (IG). These two metrics describe the volume and intensity of the complete activity profile; further, they are comparable across populations making them ideal for comparing and/or pooling activity data. Methods: Forty-eight adults wore a GENEActiv, Axivity, and ActiGraph on both wrists for up to 7-days. Data were processed using open-source software (GGIR) to generate physical activity outcomes, including ACC and IG. Agreement was assessed using pairwise 95% equivalence tests (±10% equivalence zone) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Results: ACC was equivalent between brands when measured at the non-dominant wrist (ICC ≥ 0.93), but approximately 10% higher when measured at the dominant wrist (GENEActiv and Axivity only, ICC ≥ 0.83). The IG was equivalent irrespective of monitor brand or wrist (ICC ≥ 0.88). After adjusting ACC measured at the dominant wrist by −10% (GENEActiv and Axivity only), ACC was also within (or marginally outside) the 10% equivalence zone for all monitor pairings. Conclusion: If average acceleration is decreased by 10% for studies deploying monitors on the dominant wrist (GENEActiv and Axivity only), ACC and IG may be suitable for comparing and/or collating physical activity outcomes across accelerometer datasets, regardless of monitor brand and wrist.

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Francini Vilela Novais, Eduardo J. Simoes, Chester Schmaltz and Luiz R. Ramos

Background: Physical activity promotion within primary health care is in the spotlight. However, few studies have evaluated the long-term effectiveness of possible interventions. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of 3 primary health care interventions in increasing leisure-time physical activity among older Brazilians. Methods: Experimental study with 142 older residents of an ongoing urban cohort in São Paulo (Brazil). Participants were randomized into 3 groups: minimal intervention group, physician-based counseling group, and individual counseling and referral for physical activity programs group (CRG). We used the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to assess leisure-time physical activity at baseline, 4 years after baseline without any intervention, 3 months after intervention, and 6 months after intervention. Statistical analysis included repeated analysis of variance. Results: At baseline, 31% of the individuals were active, and this figure remained stable for a period of 4 years. Three months after the interventions, there was a significant increase in leisure-time physical activity for CRG compared with the minimal intervention (P < .001) and physician-based counseling (P < .02) groups, and these differences persisted after 6 months (P < .001 and P < .05, respectively). Conclusion: Results indicate that interventions with CRG are effective in producing sustained changes in physical activity among older Brazilians.

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Robert C. Hilliard, Lorenzo A. Redmond and Jack C. Watson II

Although factors involved with help-seeking have been widely studied in the general college population, college student-athletes have received less attention. The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating role of self-compassion on the relationship between public and self-stigma, and how self-stigma was associated with attitudes toward seeking counseling. A sample of 243 student-athletes from NCAA Divisions I and III participated in the study. Using structural equation modeling, self-compassion was not found to moderate the relationship between public and self-stigma. However, public stigma was positively associated with self-stigma, and self-stigma was negatively associated with attitudes toward counseling. A multigroup analysis did not find differences between males and females for the model. The results of this study have implications for professionals who work with college student-athletes and suggest that efforts should aim to reduce stigma and examine alternative factors that might improve attitudes toward mental health help-seeking.