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Ulrika Olsson Möller, Jimmie Kristensson, Patrik Midlöv, Charlotte Ekdahl and Ulf Jakobsson

Objectives:

To investigate the effects of a home-based one-year case management intervention in older people with functional dependency and repeated contact with the health care services on self-reported falls and self-reported injurious falls.

Methods:

The study was a randomized controlled trial with repeated follow-ups. The sample (n = 153) was consecutively and randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 80, mean age = 81.4 [SD 5.9]) or control group (n = 73, mean age = 81.6 [SD 6.8]). The intervention group received a case management intervention which comprised monthly home visits during 12 months by nurses and physiotherapists employing a multifactorial preventive approach.

Results:

In the intervention group, 96 falls occurred during the intervention period compared with 85 falls in the control group (p = .900). There were 40 and 38 injurious falls (p = .669) in the intervention and control groups, respectively.

Conclusions:

This home-based case management intervention was not able to prevent falls or injurious falls.

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Dominic Malcolm

In this article I examine the role and working practice of rugby union club doctors in England. While medicine is widely perceived to be one of the most powerful professions in Western societies, sociologists of sport have argued that sport clinicians often wield relatively limited power over their athlete-patients. In this article I therefore attempt to shed further light on the “peculiar” character of sports medicine. Using data drawn from interviews and questionnaires, I argue that this phenomenon can be understood only by looking at the structure of the sports medicine profession, the specificities of the rugby club as a workplace setting, and the relationships club doctors have with clients (coaches and athletes) and other health care providers (physiotherapists).

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Anna-Karin Welmer, Annika Mörck and Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff

The aim of this study was to describe experiences of physical activity, perceived meaning, and the importance of and motives and barriers for participation in physical activity in people 80 years of age and older. A qualitative design with focus-group methodology was used. The sample consisted of 20 community-living people age 80–91 yr. Data analyses revealed 4 themes: physical activity as a part of everything else in life, joie de vivre, fear of disease and dependence, and perceptions of frailty. Our results suggest that physical activity was not seen as a separate activity but rather as a part of activities often rated as more important than the physical activity itself. Thus, when designing physical activity interventions for elderly people, health care providers should consider including time for social interaction and possibilities to be outdoors. Moreover, assessment of physical activity levels among elderly people should include the physical activity in everyday activities.

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James F. Sallis and Kevin Patrick

The International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents convened to review the effects of physical activity on the health of adolescents, to establish age-appropriate physical activity guidelines, and to consider how these guidelines might be implemented in primary health care settings. Thirty-four invited experts and representatives of scientific, medical, and governmental organizations established two main guidelines. First, all adolescents should be physically active daily or nearly every day as part of their lifestyles. Second, adolescents should engage in three or more sessions per week of activities that last 20 min or more and that require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion. Available data suggest that the vast majority of U.S. adolescents meet the first guideline, but only about two thirds of boys and one half of girls meet the second guideline. Physical activity has important effects on the health of adolescents, and the promotion of regular physical activity should be a priority for physicians and other health professionals.

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Troy R. Garrett and Peter J. Neibert

Clinical Scenario:

Injury to the plantar fascia, whether acute or chronic, is common among many populations. A conventional multiple-treatment approach is commonly administered by health care providers, consisting of controlling inflammation, managing pain, and promoting healing. Frequently, the initial treatment for plantar fasciitis is targeted at increasing dorsiflexion range of motion by stretching the gastroc-soleus musculature. It has been theorized that inflexibility of the gastroc-soleus complex can lead to excessive pronation and overcompensation of the plantar fascia at the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, therefore increasing the stress at the medial calcaneal insertion. Therefore, it is deemed that gastrocnemius–soleus stretches are a beneficial treatment in the initial stage of a plantar fasciitis treatment or rehabilitation program.

Focused Clinical Question:

Is a gastrocnemius–soleus stretching program, as a stand-alone treatment variable, effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis?

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Roy J. Shephard

The Journal of Physical Activity and Health seems likely to develop as a vehicle for practical, evidence-based answers to problems concerning physical activity and health, issues that have important implications for public health policy. There is strong epidemiological evidence for an association between the regular practice of physical activity and preventive or therapeutic benefit in a wide range of chronic health conditions,1-4 and already many professional groups have been eager to pre¬pare position statements, indicating their assessments of an appropriate minimum weekly dose of physical activity to maintain health.5 Unfortunately, there have been substantial discrepancies between successive recommendations, and uncertainties in the message are one probable factor, limiting its acceptance by both the general public and immediate health-care providers.6,7 The purpose of this brief commentary is to suggest some areas of investigation that would help in formulating a clear and consistent message. Topics discussed include the desired health outcome, the shape of the dose–response relationship, the impact of confounding variables, the quality of the evidence accepted, the basis for shaping the message, and the need for multiple messages.

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Paul Comper, Michael Hutchison, Doug Richards and Lynda Mainwaring

Along with the ever growing awareness among the scientific community and the general public that concussion is a serious health care issue at all levels of sport, with potentially devastating long term health effects, the number of concussion surveillance clinical monitoring programs has significantly increased internationally over the past 10–15 years. An effective concussion program (a “best practice” model) is clinically prudent and evidence-based, one that is an interdisciplinary model involving health professionals who manage, educate, and provide psychosocial support to athletes. The integration of neuropsychological assessment is a component of many present day programs, and therefore, the neuropsychologist is an integral member of the concussion management team. The University of Toronto Concussion Program, operational since 1999, integrates best practices and current evidence into a working model of concussion management for university athletes. The model uses an interdisciplinary approach to monitor and assess athletes with concussions, as well as to educate its athletes, coaches, and administrators. A research component is also integral to the program.

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Eric Emmanuel Coris, Stephen Walz, Jeff Konin and Michele Pescasio

Context:

Heat illness is the third leading cause of death in athletics and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in exercising athletes. Once faced with a case of heat related illness, severe or mild, the health care professional is often faced with the question of when to reactivate the athlete for competitive sport. Resuming activity without modifying risk factors could lead to recurrence of heat related illness of similar or greater severity. Also, having had heat illness in and of itself may be a risk factor for future heat related illness. The decision to return the athlete and the process of risk reduction is complex and requires input from all of the components of the team. Involving the entire sports medicine team often allows for the safest, most successful return to play strategy. Care must be taken once the athlete does begin to return to activity to allow for re-acclimatization to exercise in the heat prior to resumption particularly following a long convalescent period after more severe heat related illness.

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Jessica R. Edler, Kenneth E. Games, Lindsey E. Eberman and Leamor Kahanov

The tibial plateau is a critical load-bearing surface in humans. Although tibial plateau fractures represent only 1% of all fractures, proper management by all members of the health care team, including athletic trainers, physicians, and physical therapists, is required for successful patient outcomes. A 14-year-old national-level competitive female diver injured her right knee during the precompetition warm-up period. Upon evaluation by an athletic trainer, the patient was referred for imaging and examination by a physician. She was seen by an orthopedic surgeon for consultation. The patient elected for a surgical repair of the tibial plateau fracture. Following surgery she underwent an 11-week comprehensive therapeutic exercise program with athletic trainers and physical therapists. The patient’s return-to-play progression included dry land activities, platform diving, 1-m springboard diving, and 3-m springboard diving. The patient has successfully returned to competitive diving. Proper identification of tibial fractures can be difficult considering their low occurrence in youth and their similar clinical presentation to more common youth injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament ruptures. Clinicians providing immediate on-site medical care should be thorough in their clinical exam including palpation and axial loading of the joint.

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Robert M. Kaplan, Alison K. Herrmann, James T. Morrison, Laura F. DeFina and James R. Morrow Jr.

Background:

Despite benefits of physical activity (PA), exercise is also associated with risks. Musculoskeletal injury (MSI) risk increases with exercise frequency/intensity. MSI is associated with costs including medical care and time lost from work.

Purpose:

To evaluate the economic costs associated with PA-related MSIs in community-dwelling women.

Method:

Participants included 909 women in the Women’s Injury Study reporting PA behaviors and MSI incidence weekly via the Internet for up to 3 years (mean follow-up 1.89 years). Participants provided consent to obtain health records. Costs were estimated by medical records and self-reports of medical care. Components included physician visits, medical facility contacts, medication costs, and missed work.

Results:

Of 909 participants, 243 reported 323 episodes of expenditure or contact with the health care system associated with PA. Total costs of episodes ranged from $0–$18,934. Modal cost was $0 (mean = $433 ± $1670). Costs were positively skewed with nearly all participants reporting no or very low costs.

Conclusions:

About 1 in 4 community-dwelling women who are physically active experienced a PA-related MSI. The majority of injuries were minor, and large expenses associated with MSI were rare. The long-term health benefits and costs savings resulting from PA likely outweigh the minor costs associated with MSI from a physically-active lifestyle.