The present study examined links between physical activity and quality of life experienced by individuals with physical disabilities recruited from a wheelchair user’s basketball tournament. The participants included 12 male and 14 female adults between the ages of 18–54 (M = 31.12, SD = 10.75) who all reported one or more condition(s) that impacted their daily living. They were administered the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (Washburn, Weimo, McAuley, Frogley, & Figoni, 2002) and in-depth interviews focused on their physical activity experiences and evaluations about their quality of life. Grounded theory analyses (Charmaz, 2000, 2002) revealed that individuals who use wheelchairs perceived a number of psychological, social, and health benefits associated with physical activity involvement. The participants’ evaluations and descriptions of their physical activity experiences appeared to support self-efficacy beliefs, feelings of empowerment, and motivation for continued involvement. Firstperson descriptions are presented to demonstrate how and why physical activity behaviors were perceived to enhance the quality of the participants’ lives.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Michael Stancil, Brent Hardin and Lance Bryant
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.
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.
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.
Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Brent Hardin, Nancy Frye, Heather A. Hausenblas, Sam Sears and Amber Stegelin
We assessed within- and between-person associations among appraisals of daily life events, positive and negative affective states, and exercise behavior and the moderating role of personality for the exercise/affect relationship with individuals with physical disabilities. Forty-eight individuals with physical disabilities completed measures of personality and daily assessments of affect, exercise, and cognitive appraisals of life events for eight consecutive days. The results revealed that exercise behavior was associated with increased positive and decreased negative affect even when associations between daily events and affect were statistically controlled. Finally, aspects of personality, especially Neuroticism, significantly moderated the exercise/affect relationship for both positive and negative affect.
Matthew P. Buman, Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Joseph M. Dzierzewski, Adrienne Aiken Morgan, Christina S. McCrae, Beverly L. Roberts and Michael Marsiske
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.
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.
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.
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.