The aim of this study was to describe and undertake an initial evaluation of a student-led assessment service for children with possible motor-skill difficulties. A secondary analysis of cross-sectional descriptive clinical data collected from 2015 to 2016 was undertaken. Children (N = 102) were assessed in preschools by physiotherapy students (supervised by qualified physiotherapists). Key outcomes included the following: Children’s Activities Scale, Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2, and demographic/service-usage/onward referral statistics. The results highlighted that for every five children referred/assessed, two were at risk of motor-skill difficulties (∼43%). About 66% of children were subsequently referred on or monitored (40% requiring multidisciplinary follow-up). Conversely 34% of children did not require further services. In conclusion, a student-led assessment service may be a sustainable and feasible option to assist children at risk of motor-skill difficulties, enabling onward referral. Additional evaluation is required to garner stakeholder feedback.
The Physiotherapy in Preschools Program: Describing a Student-Led Assessment Service for Children With Possible Motor Skill Difficulties
Margarita D. Tsiros, Emily J. Ward, Sophie Lefmann, and Susan Hillier
Tracking Performance Changes With Running-Stride Variability When Athletes Are Functionally Overreached
Joel T. Fuller, Clint R. Bellenger, Dominic Thewlis, John Arnold, Rebecca L. Thomson, Margarita D. Tsiros, Eileen Y. Robertson, and Jonathan D. Buckley
Stride-to-stride fluctuations in running-stride interval display long-range correlations that break down in the presence of fatigue accumulated during an exhaustive run. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether long-range correlations in running-stride interval were reduced by fatigue accumulated during prolonged exposure to a high training load (functional overreaching) and were associated with decrements in performance caused by functional overreaching.
Ten trained male runners completed 7 d of light training (LT7), 14 d of heavy training (HT14) designed to induce a state of functional overreaching, and 10 d of light training (LT10) in a fixed order. Running-stride intervals and 5-km time-trial (5TT) performance were assessed after each training phase. The strength of long-range correlations in running-stride interval was assessed at 3 speeds (8, 10.5, and 13 km/h) using detrended fluctuation analysis.
Relative to performance post-LT7, time to complete the 5TT was increased after HT14 (+18 s; P < .05) and decreased after LT10 (–20 s; P = .03), but stride-interval long-range correlations remained unchanged at HT14 and LT10 (P > .50). Changes in stride-interval long-range correlations measured at a 10.5-km/h running speed were negatively associated with changes in 5TT performance (r –.46; P = .03).
Runners who were most affected by the prolonged exposure to high training load (as evidenced by greater reductions in 5TT performance) experienced the greatest reductions in stride-interval long-range correlations. Measurement of stride-interval long-range correlations may be useful for monitoring the effect of high training loads on athlete performance.