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Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Matthew P. Buman, Kimberly J. Romney, Monica R. Klatt, and Mari J. Stoddard

The purpose of this review was to evaluate the scope, impact, and methods of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in kinesiology departments. Information was obtained from university websites, the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), PubMed, Google Scholar, and Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge. Abstracts from 2,227 published studies funded by the NIH were reviewed. The National Institute on Aging funded the largest portion of grants. Metabolic functioning, the nervous system, pathology, and cardiovascular diseases were the major foci. Human and animal studies were predominantly discovery-oriented (e.g., comparative studies, clinical research) with a large percentage of translational approaches. Recommendations for interdisciplinary research are provided.

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Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Frederick Dietrich, Rebecca Larson, and Lesley J. White

The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of quality of life after a 4-month progressive resistance training program for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). A second purpose was to examine participants’ views about factors that facilitated or impeded exercise behavior. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight females (Mage = 49.86, SD = 6.94) with relapsing remitting MS. Audio-tape recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded. Walking performance improved (M = 13.08%, SD = 7.11). All participants perceived improvements in muscular strength and endurance while six indicated improvements in walking endurance and performance in tasks of daily living. Social benefits of participation were discussed by seven participants including interactions in the exercise environment. We concluded that supervised resistance training may promote improvements in QOL for women with relapsing remitting MS.

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Bang Hyun Kim, Roberta A. Newton, Michael L. Sachs, Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., and Joseph J. Glutting

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-wk intervention that used guided relaxation and exercise imagery (GREI) to increase self-reported leisure-time exercise behavior among older adults. A total of 93 community-dwelling healthy older adults (age 70.38 ± 8.15 yr, 66 female) were randomly placed in either a placebo control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received instructions to listen to an audio compact disk (CD) containing a GREI program, and the placebo control group received an audio CD that contained 2 relaxation tracks and instructions to listen to music of their choice for 6 wk. Results revealed that listening to a GREI CD for 6 wk significantly increased self-reported leisure-time exercise behaviors (p = .03). Further exploration of GREI and its effects on other psychological variables related to perceived exercise behaviors may substantiate its effectiveness.

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Matthew P. Buman, Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Joseph M. Dzierzewski, Adrienne Aiken Morgan, Christina S. McCrae, Beverly L. Roberts, and Michael Marsiske

Background:

Using peer volunteers as delivery agents may improve translation of evidence-based physical activity promotion programs for older adults. This study examined whether tailored support from older peer volunteers could improve initiation and long-term maintenance of physical activity behavior.

Methods:

Participants were randomized to 2 16-week, group-based programs: (1) peer-delivered, theory-based support for physical activity behavior change; or (2) an intervention typically available in community settings (basic education, gym membership, and pedometer for self-monitoring), attention-matched with health education. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed via daily self-report logs at baseline, at the end of the intervention (16 weeks), and at follow-up (18 months), with accelerometry validation (RT3) in a random subsample.

Results:

Seven peer volunteers and 81 sedentary adults were recruited. Retention at the end of the trial was 85% and follow-up at 18 months was 61%. Using intent-to-treat analyses, at 16 weeks, both groups had similar significant improvements in MVPA. At 18 months, the group supplemented with peer support had significantly more MVPA.

Conclusions:

Trained peer volunteers may enhance long-term maintenance of physical activity gains from a community-based intervention. This approach has great potential to be adapted and delivered inexpensively in community settings.