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Colleen A. Cuthbert, Kathryn King-Shier, Dean Ruether, Dianne M. Tapp and S. Nicole Culos-Reed

Background:

Family caregivers are an important health care resource and represent a significant proportion of Canadian and US populations. Family caregivers suffer physical and psychological health problems because of being in the caregiver role. Interventions to support caregiver health, including physical activity (PA), are slow to be investigated and translated into practice.

Purpose:

To examine the evidence for PA interventions in caregivers and determine factors hampering the uptake of this evidence into practice.

Methods:

A systematic review and evaluation of internal and external validity using the RE-AIM (Reach, Efficacy/Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) framework was conducted. Randomized controlled trials or pretest/posttest studies of PA interventions were included.

Results:

Fourteen studies were published between 1997 and 2015. Methodological quality of studies and risk of bias was variable. External validity criteria were often not reported. Mean reporting levels were 1) reach, 53%; 2) efficacy/effectiveness, 73%; 3) adoption, 18%; 4) implementation, 48%; and 5) maintenance, 2%.

Conclusions:

The lack of reporting of components of internal and external validity hinders the integration of caregiver PA interventions into clinical or community settings. Researchers should focus on standardized outcomes, accepted reporting criteria, and balancing factors of internal and external validity, to advance the state of the science.

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Michelle Jones, Gareth Stratton, Tom Reilly and Vishwanath Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a specific 8-week exercise rehabilitation program as an intervention to treat recurrent nonspecific low back pain in adolescents. A randomized controlled trial involving 54 adolescents (14.6 ± 0.6 years) who suffered from recurrent nonspecific low back pain participated in either the exercise rehabilitation program or a control condition. Pre- and postintervention measures of low back pain status and biological risk indicators were taken. Two-way mixed ANOVA was conducted and significance was set at p < .01. Significant improvement was noted in the exercise rehabilitation group for perceived severity of pain (effect size 1.47) and number of occasions missing physical activity (effect size 0.99). Significant improvement in the exercise rehabilitation group for sit-and-reach performance, hip range of motion, lumbar sagittal mobility (modified Schöber), and number of sit-ups in 60 s were also identified. In conclusion, the specific exercise program appeared to provide positive benefits for adolescents suffering from recurrent nonspecific low back pain. Further evaluation is required to evaluate the effectiveness of the exercise rehabilitation program in relation to other interventions and to assess the long-term effectiveness.

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Saija Karinkanta, Ritva Nupponen, Ari Heinonen, Matti Pasanen, Harri Sievänen, Kirsti Uusi-Rasi, Mikael Fogelholm and Pekka Kannus

This randomized, controlled trial evaluated the effects of exercise on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and fear of falling (FoF) among 149 home-dwelling older women. The 12-mo exercise program was intended to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. HRQoL was assessed by the RAND-36 Survey, and FoF, with a visual analog scale, at baseline, 12 mo, and 24 mo. On all RAND-36 scales, the scores indicated better health and well-being. The exercise had hardly any effect on HRQoL; only the general health score improved slightly compared with controls at 12 mo (p = .019), but this gain was lost at 24 mo. FoF decreased in both groups during the intervention with no between-groups difference at 12 or 24 mo. In conclusion, despite beneficial physiological changes, the exercise intervention showed rather limited effects on HRQoL and FoF among relatively high-functioning older women. This modest result may be partly because of insufficient responsiveness of the assessment instruments used.

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Leon Mabire, Ramakrishnan Mani, Lizhou Liu, Hilda Mulligan and David Baxter

Background:

Brisk walking is the most popular activity for obesity management for adults. We aimed to identify whether participant age, sex and body mass index (BMI) influenced the effectiveness of brisk walking.

Methods:

A search of 9 databases was conducted for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two investigators selected RCTs reporting on change in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, fat-free mass, and body fat percentage following a brisk walking intervention in obese adults.

Results:

Of the 5072 studies screened, 22 met the eligibility criteria. The pooled mean differences were: weight loss, –2.13 kg; BMI, –0.96 kg/m2; waist circumference, –2.83 cm; fat mass, –2.59 kg; fat-free mass, 0.29 kg; and body fat percentage, –1.38%. Meta-regression of baseline BMI showed no effect on changes.

Conclusions:

Brisk walking can create a clinically significant reduction in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and fat mass for obese men and women aged under 50 years. Obese women aged over 50 years can achieve modest losses, but gains in fat-free mass reduce overall change in body weight. Further research is required for men aged over 50 years and on the influence of BMI for all ages and sexes.

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Dana Lis, Kiran D.K. Ahuja, Trent Stellingwerff, Cecilia M. Kitic and James Fell

Athletes employ various dietary strategies in attempts to attenuate exercise-induced gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms to ensure optimal performance. This case-study outlines one of these GI-targeted approaches via the implementation of a short-term low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet, with the aim to attenuate persistent running specific GI symptoms in a recreationally competitive multisport athlete (male, 86 kg, 57.9 ml·kg·min-1 V02max, 10–15 hr/week training, with no diagnosed GI disorder). Using a single-blinded approach a habitual diet was compared with a 6-day low FODMAP intervention diet (81 ± 5g vs 7.2 ± 5.7g FODMAP s/day) for their effect on GI symptoms and perceptual wellbeing. Training was similar during the habitual and dietary intervention periods. Postexercise (During) GI symptom ratings were recorded immediately following training. Daily GI symptoms and the Daily Analysis of Life Demands for Athletes (DALDA) were recorded at the end of each day. Daily and During GI symptom scores (scale 0–9) ranged from 0–4 during the habitual dietary period while during the low FODMAP dietary period all scores were 0 (no symptoms at all). DALDA scores for worse than normal ranged from 3–10 vs 0–8 in the habitual and low FODMAP dietary periods, respectively, indicating improvement. This intervention was effective for this GI symptom prone athlete; however, randomized-controlled trials are required to assess the suitability of low FODMAP diets for reducing GI distress in other symptomatic athletes.

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Farnoosh Mafi, Soheil Biglari, Alireza Ghardashi Afousi and Abbas Ali Gaeini

To investigate the effects of resistance training and epicatechin supplementation on muscle strength, follistatin, and myostatin in older adults with sarcopenia, a total of 62 males with sarcopenia (68.63 ± 2.86 years) underwent a supervised 8-week randomized controlled trial. Participants were divided into resistance training (RT), epicatechin (EP), resistance training+epicatechin (RT+EP), and placebo (PL) in a double-blind method. A pretest and posttest measurement was conducted. One-way analysis of variance was used to analyze between-group differences. The significantly greatest increase was observed in follistatin, follistatin/myostatin ratio, leg press, and chest press in RT+EP comparing RT, EP, and PL groups, whereas myostatin decreased significantly only in RT+EP and RT groups. However, appendicular muscle mass index and timed up and go test were enhanced significantly in all experimental groups than the PL group (p ≤ .05). Consequently, by comparing the results between three experimental groups, the greatest improvement was detected in the RT+EP group. Therefore, using two interventions simultaneously seems to have a better impact on improving muscle growth factors and preventing the progression of sarcopenia.

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Jairus J. Quesnele, Michelle A. Laframboise, Jessica J. Wong, Peter Kim and Greg D. Wells

Purpose:

To critically review the methodological quality and synthesize information from systematic reviews and high quality studies on the effects of beta alanine (BA) on exercise and athletic performance.

Methods:

A search strategy was developed in accordance with the standards for the reporting of scientific literature via systematic reviews. Five databases were thoroughly searched from inception to November 2012. Inclusion criteria were English language, human studies, used BA to increase exercise or athletic performance, systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials and were published in a peer-reviewed journal. Included studies were systematically graded for their methodological quality by rotating pairs of reviewers and the results were qualitatively synthesized.

Results:

One systematic review and 19 randomized trials were included in this review. There is one systematic review with several methodological weaknesses that limit the confidence in its results. There are moderate to high quality studies that appear to support that BA may increase power output and working capacity, decrease the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion, and have of positive effect on body composition and carnosine content. The reporting of side effects from BA supplementation in the athletic population was generally under-reported.

Conclusions:

There appears to be some evidence from this review that supplementation with BA may increase athletic performance. However, there is insufficient evidence examining the safety of BA supplementation and its side effects. It is therefore recommended to err on the side of caution in using BA as an ergogenic aid until there is sufficient evidence confirming its safety.

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Wei Duan-Porter, Remy R. Coeytaux, Jennifer R. McDuffie, Adam P. Goode, Poonam Sharma, Hillary Mennella, Avishek Nagi and John W. Williams Jr.

Background:

This study describes evidence of yoga’s effectiveness for depressive disorders, general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. We also address adverse events associated with yoga.

Methods:

We searched multiple electronic databases for systematic reviews (SRs) published between 2008 and July 2014, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) not identified in eligible SRs, and ongoing RCTs registered with ClincalTrials.gov.

Results:

We identified 1 SR on depression, 1 for adverse events, and 3 addressing multiple conditions. The high-quality depression SR included 12 RCTs (n = 619) that showed improved short-term depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference, –0.69, 95% confidence interval, –0.99 to –0.39), but there was substantial variability (I2 = 86%) and a high risk of bias for 9 studies. Three SRs addressing multiple conditions identified 4 nonrandomized studies (n = 174) for GAD/PD and 1 RCT (n = 8) and 2 nonrandomized studies (n = 22) for PTSD. We separately found 1 RCT (n = 13) for GAD and 2 RCTs (n = 102) for PTSD. Collectively, these studies were inconclusive for the effectiveness of yoga in treating GAD/PD and PTSD. The high-quality SR for adverse events included 37 primary reports (n = 76) in which inversion postures were most often implicated. We found 5 ongoing trials (3 for PTSD).

Conclusions:

Yoga may improve short-term depressive symptoms, but evidence for GAD, PD, and PTSD remain inconclusive.

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Bruce A. Reeder, Karen E. Chad, Elizabeth L. Harrison, Nigel L. Ashworth, M. Suzanne Sheppard, Koren L. Fisher, Brenda G. Bruner, Brian G. Quinn, Punam Pahwa and M. Alomgir Hossain

Background:

The study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a class-based (CB) and home-based (HB) exercise program for older adults with chronic health conditions.

Methods:

172 sedentary older adults with overweight or obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, or osteoarthritis were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial with a 3-month follow-up.

Results:

A significant increase was seen in the CB group in the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) scores and SF-12 Physical and Mental Health scores. In both groups, significant increases were seen in 6-minute walk distance, Physical Performance Test (PPT), and Functional Fitness Test (FFT), and significant reductions were seen in systolic and diastolic blood pressure but not body mass index or waist circumference. Except for a greater increment in the FFT in the CB group, the degree of improvement was not significantly different between the 2 groups.

Conclusion:

After a 3-month intervention, both the CB and HB program produced comparable significant improvements in outcome measures.

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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura and Gershon Tenenbaum

Background:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a yoga intervention on psychological health in older adults.

Method:

A randomized controlled trial study, conducted at 2 North Florida facilities for older adults. Subjects were 98 older adults, ages 65 to 92. Participants were randomly assigned to chair yoga, chair exercise, and control groups and assessed preintervention, postintervention, and 1-month follow-up on the State Anger Expression Inventory, State Anxiety Inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale, Lawton’s PGC Morale Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scales, and Self- Control Schedule.

Results:

Yoga participants improved more than both exercise and control participants in anger (Cohen’s d = 0.89 for yoga versus exercise, and 0.90 for yoga versus control, pretest to posttest; and d = 0.90 and 0.72, pretest to follow-up), anxiety (d = 0.27, 0.39 and 0.62, 0.63), depression (d = 0.47, 0.49 and 0.53, 0.51), well-being (d = 0.14, 0.49 and 0.25, 0.61), general self-efficacy (d = 0.63, 1.10 and 0.30, 0.85), and self-efficacy for daily living (d = 0.52, 0.81 and 0.27, 0.42). Changes in self-control moderated changes in psychological health.

Conclusions:

Over a 6-week period, our findings indicate yoga’s potential for improving psychological health in older adults.