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Heidi Stanish, Carol Curtin, Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Melissa Maslin and Linda Bandini

The authors compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy between adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typically developing (TD) adolescents. A questionnaire was verbally administered to 35 adolescents with ASD and 60 TD adolescents. Compared with TD adolescents, fewer adolescents with ASD enjoyed team sports (65% vs. 95%, p < .001) and physical education (84% vs. 98%, p = .02). A greater proportion of adolescents with ASD perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (16% vs. 0%, p < .01), and fewer believed that physical activity was a way to make friends (68% vs. 97%, p < .001). Fewer adolescents with ASD preferred to do physical activity in their free time (25% vs. 58%, p < .01). Most adolescents with ASD felt that physical activity is fun (84%), but the proportion was lower than in TD adolescents (98%, p = .03). Some perceptions about physical activity were similar between the 2 groups, but differences identified may inform program development.

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Fiona Moola, Caroline Fusco and Joel A. Kirsh

Despite the benefits of physical activity for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), most patients are inactive. Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD. The main theme, “what I wish you knew,” was related to all other themes-youths’ efforts to resolve “disclosure dilemmas,” the barriers they encounter during physical education, and their struggle to understand themselves as normal. The participants’ narratives illuminate the centrality of their sociocultural world to physical activity. The findings call on researchers and educators to attend to the social and cultural environments where these youth live and play.

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Katja Siefken, Grant Schofield and Nico Schulenkorf

Background:

The Pacific region has experienced rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes, which lead to high rates of noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevalence. There is no information on barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles in this region. In response, we present the first stage of a rigorous development of an urban Pacific health intervention program. This paper describes formative work conducted in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The objective of this paper was to understand cultural barriers and facilitators in Pacific women to lifestyle change and use the findings to inform future health interventions.

Methods:

Semistructured focus groups with 37 female civil servants divided into 6 groups were held verbally to understand barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles.

Results:

Several perceived barriers and facilitators were identified. Inter alia, barriers include financial limitations, time issues, family commitments, environmental aspects, and motivational hindrances that limit time and opportunities for healthy lifestyle behavior. Facilitators include more supportive environments, social support mechanisms, and the implementation of rigorous health policies.

Conclusions:

Formative work is essential in designing health intervention programs. Uncovered barriers and facilitators help inform the development of culturally relevant health interventions.

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Rona Macniven, Victoria Pye, Dafna Merom, Andrew Milat, Claire Monger, Adrian Bauman and Hidde van der Ploeg

Background:

Physical activity interventions targeting older adults are optimized if barriers and enablers are better understood. This study identified barriers and enablers of physical activity and examined whether these were associated with meeting physical activity recommendations.

Methods:

2225 adults aged 65 years and above who perceived themselves to be insufficiently active but would like to be more physically active self-reported their barriers and enablers to physical activity in the 2009 New South Wales Falls Prevention Survey. Binary logistic regression analyses examined associations between barriers and enablers and meeting the physical activity recommendation.

Results:

After adjusting for gender, age, BMI, and education, people who listed ill health (52%; OR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.70) as a barrier or who listed people to exercise with (4%; OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.88) as an enabler had significantly lower odds of meeting recommendations. Those citing too expensive (3%) as a barrier (OR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.11 to 3.87) or who listed nothing will help (29%; OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.77) and making time to be active (9%; OR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.58) as enablers had significantly higher odds of meeting physical activity recommendations.

Conclusions:

These findings give insights into older adults’ perceptions of factors that influence their physical activity, which could assist physical activity program planning in this population.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas M. Dodge and Thomas G. Bowman

Context:

Reciprocal learning appears to be occurring in athletic training clinical education. Students and preceptors can learn from one another, particularly if both parties are open to learning from each other.

Objective:

Examine facilitators and barriers to reciprocal learning in the athletic training clinical education setting.

Design:

Exploratory qualitative study.

Setting:

Athletic training programs.

Patients or Other Participants:

Our recruitment, which was based upon data redundancy, included 10 preceptors and 10 athletic training students. The preceptors had an average of 5 ± 3.5 years of experience supervising students. The athletic training student sample consisted of 8 seniors and 2 juniors.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants responded to a series of questions by journaling their thoughts and opinions. Data were collected and stored on QuestionPro, a secure website. Data were analyzed by a general inductive approach. Credibility was established by (1) researcher triangulation, (2) peer review, and (3) member checks.

Results:

The relationship between the preceptor and the student along with reception to reciprocal learning emerged as facilitators, while a lack of confidence on the students’ behalf and time constraints can limit chances for reciprocal learning.

Conclusions:

Reciprocal learning has been identified as being mutually beneficial to the student and preceptor. Our findings highlight that for this type of learning to be successful, there has to be a communal interest in learning and that the use of current clinical cases and students’ current coursework provide benchmarks for discussion and learning.

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Cristina Caperchoine, William K. Mummery and Kelly Joyner

Background:

The Women’s Active Living Kits (WALK) Pilot Program was an Australian federal government initiative designed to identify an effective model for extending physical activity participation in government identified priority women’s groups. The purpose of this study is to address the barriers and challenges to physical activity participation in selected priority women’s groups and present possible strategies to assist with engaging these groups in physical activity.

Methods:

Ten focus group evaluation sessions were undertaken with priority women’s groups who took part in the WALK program. Participants were encouraged to share their opinions, perceptions and beliefs regarding their physical activity behaviors, in a semistructured, open table discussion.

Results:

Participants reported a number of psychological and cognitive, sociocultural, and environmental factors which restricted their participation in physical activity. Participants also highlighted strategies they felt would enable physical activity participation.

Conclusions:

These findings are valuable and should be used as a platform to inform the design and implementation of future physical activity interventions for priority women’s groups.

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Heidi I. Stanish, Carol Curtin, Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Melissa Maslin and Linda G. Bandini

Background:

Youths with intellectual disabilities (ID) exhibit low levels of physical activity, but the underlying contributors to behavior are unclear. We compared physical activity enjoyment, perceived barriers, beliefs, and self-efficacy among adolescents with ID and typically developing (TD) adolescents.

Methods:

A questionnaire was administered to 38 adolescents with ID (mean age, 16.8 years) and 60 TD adolescents (mean age, 15.3 years). Of the original 33 questionnaire items, 23 met the test-retest reliability criteria and were included in the group comparisons.

Results:

Fewer adolescents with ID reported that they have someone with whom to do physical activity (64% vs 93%: P < .001), and a greater percentage of adolescents with ID perceived that physical activities were too hard to learn (41% vs 0%; P < .001). Fewer adolescents with ID believed that physical activity would be good for their health (92% vs 100%; P = .05). More adolescents with ID reported a dislike of individual physical activities (P = .02). A large percentage of adolescents with ID (84%) responded that they were good at doing physical activities, but the difference between groups was only of borderline significance (95% of TD adolescents, P = .06).

Conclusions:

Adolescents shared many of the same perceptions about physical activity, but some important differences between groups were identified.

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Robert Eley, Robert Bush and Wendy Brown

Background:

Interventions addressing chronic disease through physical activity are hampered by the low evidence base from rural areas. The purpose of the study was to provide information which may contribute to the development of future policy and strategy applicable to rural Queensland.

Methods:

Six diverse rural shires were chosen. A mixed-method design included more than 100 interviews with community representatives; surveys to 3000 community members; audits of facilities, amenities, and other relevant resources in each shire; and detailed observation during repeated site visits.

Results:

Half the respondents failed to meet Australian physical activity guidelines and 1 in 5 reported no activity. Queensland’s rural communities offer good access to a wide variety of structured and nonstructured activities. Some barriers to physical activity (eg, family commitments) are similar to those reported from urban areas; however, others including climate, culture of exercise, and community leadership are unique to the rural environment.

Conclusions:

Unique characteristics of rural environments and populations affect engagement in physical activity. Promotion of healthy lifestyle in rural environments need to be informed by local context and not merely extrapolated from urban situations. Attention must be paid to specific local circumstances which may affect implementation, adoption and participation.

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Aviva Must, Sarah Phillips, Carol Curtin and Linda G. Bandini

Background:

Individual, social, and community barriers to physical activity (PA) experienced by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make PA participation more difficult and may contribute to increased screen time.

Methods:

We compared the prevalence of parent-reported barriers to PA among 58 typically developing (TD) children and 53 children with an ASD, 3 to 11 years, and assessed the association between barriers and PA participation and screen time among children with ASD.

Results:

Parents of children with ASD reported significantly more barriers than parents of TD children. Based on parent-report, 60% of children with ASD required too much supervision compared with no TD children (P < .001). Parents of children with ASD were more likely to report that adults lack skills needed to include their child (58%), that their child has few friends (45%), and that other children exclude their child (23%). The number of parent-reported barriers to PA was inversely correlated with the hours spent in PA per year (r = −0.27, P = .05) and positively related to total screen time (r = .32, P < .03).

Conclusions:

These findings underscore the need for community-based PA programs designed to meet the special requirements of this population and policies that compel schools and other government-supported organizations for inclusion and/or targeted programming.

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Christina C. Loitz and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere

Background:

Despite the health benefits associated with physical activity participation, activity levels of North American children are declining. In response, practitioners are placing emphasis on active forms of transportation to and from school. The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to active transportation to school (ATS) from the perspectives of practitioners.

Methods:

The perspectives of 19 practitioners (eg, health promoters, traffic engineers, police, etc.) from 3 communities in Alberta, Canada were captured using focus group interviews followed by content analysis.

Results:

Subthemes tied to barriers included logistics, lifestyle, safety, and lack of resources; while facilitators were comprised of collaboration, education, and leadership. The results were interpreted using an ecological model of health behavior.

Conclusion:

The most common ATS barriers: attitudes and safety concerns, lack of resources and time, and the nature of the natural and built environments were associated with the intrapersonal, organizational, and physical environmental factors, respectively. The most significant organizational facilitators concerned collaboration among parents, schools, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies. While the multifaceted nature of barriers and facilitators add complexity to the issue, it also challenges practitioners to think and act creatively in finding solutions.