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Leigh F. Callahan, Rebecca J. Cleveland, Mary Altpeter and Betsy Hackney

Objective:

Evaluate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program for community participants with arthritis.

Methods:

343 individuals were randomized to either the intervention or wait-list control group. Performance and self-reported outcome (SRO) measures were assessed at baseline and eight weeks. At one year, SROs only were assessed. Adjusted means were determined using regression models adjusting for covariates, and effect sizes (ES) were calculated.

Results:

Average participant age was 66 years, 87% were female, and 87% were Caucasian. Among 284 (83%) participants who returned at eight weeks, balance by reach (ES = 0.30) and helplessness, sleep, and role participation satisfaction (ES = 0.24–0.54) improved significantly; pain, fatigue, and stiffness improvement (ES = 0.15–0.23) approached significance. No change was noted in mobility, lower extremity strength, or single-leg stance balance. At one year, improvements in pain, fatigue, stiffness, helplessness, and role participation satisfaction at eight weeks were maintained; 30% continued tai chi practice.

Conclusion:

Moderate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program was confirmed.

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Maria Giné-Garriga, Míriam Guerra, Esther Pagès, Todd M. Manini, Rosario Jiménez and Viswanath B. Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.

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Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert and Moritz Anderten

Adolescent soccer players experience many stressors and negative stress-related outcomes. Short-term stress-prevention programs are frequently implemented in youth sports, although there is limited evidence of their usefulness and effectiveness. Thus, the present study evaluated the usefulness and effectiveness of a stress-prevention workshop for adolescent soccer players. Ninety-two soccer players (age: M = 15.5 years, SD = 1.43; 31.5% female) were randomly allocated to either an intervention group or an intervention control group. To evaluate effectiveness, stress, coping, and depression were assessed at baseline (t1) and 4 weeks postworkshop (t2). To investigate usefulness, the perceived quality of results was assessed at t2. No intervention effects on stress, coping, and depression emerged, but both groups exhibited high values regarding perceived quality of results. Although one workshop might not be enough to modify stress-related parameters, it may be useful for adolescent soccer players and pave the way for long-term interventions.

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Derya Ozer Kaya, Irem Duzgun, Gul Baltaci, Selma Karacan and Filiz Colakoglu

Objective:

To assess and compare the effects of 6 mo of Pilates and calisthenics on multijoint coordination and proprioception of the lower limbs at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.

Design:

Randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, repeated-measures.

Setting:

University research laboratory.

Participants and Intervention:

Healthy, sedentary, female participants age 25–50 y were recruited and randomly divided into 3 groups: a calisthenic exercise group (n = 34, mean age ± SD 40 ± 8 y, body-mass index [BMI] 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), a Pilates exercise group (n = 32, mean age ± SD 37 ± 8 y, BMI 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), and a control group (n = 41, mean age ± SD 41 ± 7 y, BMI 27.09 ± 4.77 kg/m2). The calisthenics and Pilates groups underwent related training programs for 6 mo, while the controls had no specific training.

Main Outcome Measures:

Coordination and proprioception of the lower extremities with concentric and eccentric performances in the closed kinetic chain assessed with the monitored rehab functional squat system at baseline and at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.

Results:

For the within-group comparison, coordinative concentric and eccentric deviation values were significantly decreased for both dominant and nondominant lower limbs at pretraining and at the 3rd and 6th mo posttraining in the calisthenics group (P < .05). In contrast, there was no improvement in the Pilates group throughout the training. However, for comparisons between groups, the baseline values of coordinative concentric and eccentric deviations were different in the calisthenics group than in Pilates and the controls (P < .05). There were no differences in the proprioception values of either visible or nonvisible movement in any group throughout the training (P > .05).

Conclusions:

It seems that calisthenic exercises are more likely to improve coordination of the lower extremity after 3 and 6 mo of training than Pilates exercises. Calisthenic exercises may be useful for individuals who require improved coordination.

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Kevin Laudner and Kyle Thorson

Context: Tightness of the pectoralis minor is a common characteristic that has been associated with aberrant posture and shoulder pathology. Determining conservative treatment techniques for maintaining and lengthening this muscle is critical. Although some gross stretching techniques have been proven effective, there are currently no empirical data regarding the effectiveness of self-myofascial release for treating tightness of this muscle. Objective: To determine the acute effectiveness of a self-myofascial release with movement technique of the pectoralis minor for improving shoulder motion and posture among asymptomatic individuals. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Orthopedic rehabilitation clinic. Participants: A total of 21 physically active, college-aged individuals without shoulder pain volunteered to participate in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Glenohumeral internal rotation, external rotation, and flexion range of motion (ROM), pectoralis minor length, and forward scapular posture were measured in all participants. The intervention group received one application of a self-soft-tissue mobilization of the pectoralis minor with movement. The placebo group completed the same motions as the intervention group, but with minimal pressure applied to the xiphoid process. Separate analyses of covariance were used to determine differences between groups (P < .05). Results: Separate analyses of covariance showed that the self-mobilization group had significantly more flexion ROM, pectoralis minor length, and less forward scapular posture posttest than the placebo group. However, the difference in forward scapular posture may not be clinically significant. No differences were found between groups for external or internal rotation ROM. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that an acute self-myofascial release with movement is effective for improving glenohumeral flexion ROM and pectoralis minor length, and may assist with forward scapular posture. Clinicians should consider this self-mobilization in the prevention and rehabilitation of pathologies associated with shortness of the pectoralis minor.

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Noriaki Maeda, Yukio Urabe, Junpei Sasadai, Akira Miyamoto, Masahito Murakami and Junichi Kato

Context:

Whole-body-vibration (WBV) stimulus equipment has been used as a new training method for health promotion. Its use in the clinic has expanded to the field of sports and rehabilitation for disabled patients. WBV training is rapidly gaining popularity in health and fitness centers as an alternative method for improving muscle performance. Acute positive effects of WBV have been shown on lower-extremity muscle power and vertical-jump ability; however, there have not been any studies focusing on the long-term effects of WBV for trunk muscle and dynamic balance.

Objective:

To investigate the effects of an 8-wk program of WBV in combination with trunk-muscle training on muscle performance in healthy, untrained adults.

Design:

Laboratory-based, repeated-measures study.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Participants:

20 healthy university men.

Intervention:

Participants were randomly assigned to a WBV or non-WBV group. The WBV group performed a trunk-muscle-training program in combination with WBV; the non-WBV group performed the same muscle-training program without WBV for 8 wk.

Main Outcome Measures:

In the pre- and posttraining period, the participants were evaluated using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), Y Balance Test (Y-test) (anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral reach), trunk-muscle isometric strength (flexor, extensor, and flexor:extensor ratio), squat jump, and countermovement jump.

Results:

The WBV group had greater improvement than the non-WBV group in both trunk-flexor muscle strength (P = .02) and the Y-test (anterior reach) (P = .004) between pre- and posttraining.

Conclusion:

Adding WBV to a trunk-muscle-strengthening program may improve trunk-flexor isometric strength and anterior reach during the Y-test more than training without WBV. The WBV protocol used in this study had no significant impact on FMS scores, squat jumping, countermovement jumping, trunk-extensor isometric strength, or trunk flexor:extensor ratio.

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Ya-Chen Liu, Wen-Wen Yang, I-Yao Fang, Hope Li-Ling Pan, Wei-Han Chen and Chiang Liu

Outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) is installed in parks to promote health, particularly among seniors. However, no quantitative study has investigated its effectiveness. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the effectiveness of 12 weeks of OFE training on functional fitness in seniors. Forty-two active seniors were recruited and randomly assigned into OFE and control groups. The OFE group underwent 12 weeks of training using popular OFE for cardiorespiratory function, flexibility, and strength, whereas participants in the control group were asked to maintain their previous lifestyles. The senior fitness test was assessed before and after the 12-week period. Unexpectedly, the results showed no significant improvement within or between the groups after the 12-week training in all parameters (p > .05). In conclusion, the 12-week OFE training failed to enhance functional fitness among active seniors. Potential reasons for the limited training effects might be lack of resistance components and diversity of the OFE design and installation.

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Abdou Y. Omorou, Johanne Langlois, Edith Lecomte, Anne Vuillemin, Serge Briançon and on behalf of the PRALIMAP Trial Group

Background:

explaining why and how overweight prevention programs were effective was a real need; especially the potential role of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) should be highlighted. This study aimed to evaluate the 2-year effectiveness of a screening and care strategy in adolescents’ weight reduction with regards to PA and SB change.

Methods:

1745 adolescents aged 15.1 years from PRALIMAP trial was included (n = 840 for screening and care group and n = 905 for control group). PA and SB time (international physical activity questionnaire: IPAQ), body mass index (BMI), and BMI z-score were assessed at inclusion and after 2-year intervention. Hierarchical mixed models were applied.

Results:

Compared with the control group, screening and care strategy was associated with an increase in global PA (58 min/week), a moderate PA (43 min/week), the adherence to the French PA guidelines (OR = 1.3), and a decrease in SB (−198 min/week). The 2-year weight change decreased when adjusted for PA and SB suggesting that the effect of screening and care strategy was partly mediated by PA and SB.

Conclusion:

Screening and care intervention seemed to be effective in increasing PA and decreasing SB. The induced PA and SB modifications contributed to the observed weight change.

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Nicholas Riley, David R. Lubans, Kathryn Holmes and Philip J Morgan

Background:

To evaluate the impact of a primary school-based physical activity (PA) integration program delivered by teachers on objectively measured PA and key educational outcomes.

Methods:

Ten classes from 8 Australian public schools were randomly allocated to treatment conditions. Teachers from the intervention group were taught to embed movement-based learning in their students’ (n = 142) daily mathematics program in 3 lessons per week for 6 weeks. The control group (n = 98) continued its regular mathematics program. The primary outcome was accelerometer-determined PA across the school day. Linear mixed models were used to analyze treatment effects.

Results:

Significant intervention effects were found for PA across the school day (adjusted mean difference 103 counts per minute [CPM], 95% confidence interval [CI], 36.5–169.7, P = .008). Intervention effects were also found for PA (168 CPM, 95% CI, 90.1–247.4, P = .008) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (2.6%, 95% CI, 0.9–4.4, P = .009) in mathematics lessons, sedentary time across the school day (–3.5%, 95% CI, –7.0 to –0.13, P = .044) and during mathematics (–8.2%, CI, –13.0 to –2.0, P = .010) and on-task behavior (13.8%, 95% CI, 4.0–23.6, P = .011)—but not for mathematics performance or attitude.

Conclusion:

Integrating movement across the primary mathematics syllabus is feasible and efficacious.

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Mirko Schmidt, Katja Jäger, Fabienne Egger, Claudia M. Roebers and Achim Conzelmann

Although the positive effects of different kinds of physical activity (PA) on cognitive functioning have already been demonstrated in a variety of studies, the role of cognitive engagement in promoting children’s executive functions is still unclear. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the effects of two qualitatively different chronic PA interventions on executive functions in primary school children. Children (N = 181) aged between 10 and 12 years were assigned to either a 6-week physical education program with a high level of physical exertion and high cognitive engagement (team games), a physical education program with high physical exertion but low cognitive engagement (aerobic exercise), or to a physical education program with both low physical exertion and low cognitive engagement (control condition). Executive functions (updating, inhibition, shifting) and aerobic fitness (multistage 20-m shuttle run test) were measured before and after the respective condition. Results revealed that both interventions (team games and aerobic exercise) have a positive impact on children’s aerobic fitness (4–5% increase in estimated VO2max). Importantly, an improvement in shifting performance was found only in the team games and not in the aerobic exercise or control condition. Thus, the inclusion of cognitive engagement in PA seems to be the most promising type of chronic intervention to enhance executive functions in children, providing further evidence for the importance of the qualitative aspects of PA.