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Yoshifumi Kijima, Ryoji Kiyama, Masaki Sekine, Toshiyo Tamura, Toshiro Fujimoto, Tetsuo Maeda and Tadasu Ohshige

extremity and gait independence in stroke patients. We therefore aimed to clarify whether a gait analysis using an accelerometer could estimate gait independence in stroke patients. We expected that the evaluation of gait quality from RMS, gait regularity, and symmetry of the acceleration in the trunk and

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Rodrigo Rodrigues Gomes Costa, Rodrigo Luiz Carregaro and Frederico Ribeiro Neto

recruitment of shoulder muscles 14 were reported, with no significant differences between HP and LP. In clinical practice, the SCI classification has shown differences between sports performance, the speed of wheelchair, and functional independence, although some assessment scales do not demonstrate such

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Katie J. Thralls and Susan S. Levy

Older adults are the fastest growing age demographic in the United States. The older adult population (≥ 65 years) is projected to increase by over 50% from 40.2 million in 2010 to 88.5 million by 2050 ( Vincent & Velkoff, 2010 ). During aging, maintaining independence is important, as is

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Camilla Yuri Kawanishi and Márcia Greguol

This study aimed to perform a systematic review of studies that address the influence of physical activity on the quality of life and functional independence of adult individuals with spinal cord injury. The review was performed using data obtained from the MEDLINE, CINAHL, SciELO, LILACS, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, and PEDro databases using the following keywords: quality of life; functional independence; autonomy; independence; physical activity; activities of daily living; physical exercise; tetraplegia; paraplegia; spinal cord injury; physical disabilities; and wheelchair. Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Although there was a lack of consensus among the selected studies, the majority of them presented a strong correlation between physical activity and variables of quality of life and/or functional independence. Thus, physical activity appears to have an important influence on social relationships, functional independence, psychological factors, and physical aspects, which can enhance quality of life and independence in the performance of daily activities.

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Patricia L. Weir

This commentary raises some issues still unresolved in the study of the reach-to-grasp movement, namely the operational definition of the components of the reach-to-grasp movement, the independence of these components, and the equivocal interpretation of the existing literature. Lastly, this commentary addresses issues pertaining to object properties that require both visual and haptic determination.

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Miriam Getz, Yeshayahu Hutzler and Adri Vermeer

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between motor performance in the aquatic setting as measured by the Aquatic Independence Measure (AIM) to motor performance on land as measured by the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). Fourty- nine children with neuro-motor impairments ages 3 to 7 participated in the study. Pearson correlations were applied to determine the relationships between the AIM and the GMFM, PEDI, and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Significant correlations were found between the total AIM and GMFM scores (r = 69, p < .01) and PEDI self-care sub-scale (r = .79, p < .01) as well as the PEDI mobility sub-scale scores (r = .35, p < .05). The water adjustment sub-scale as measured by the AIM showed the strongest relationship to motor performance on land as measured by the GMFM and PEDI in our sample of 49 children.

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Stephan Swinnen, Joost Vandenberghe and Erik Van Assche

This study sought to determine the relationships between the cognitive styles field dependence-independence and reflection-impulsivity and the acquisition of a gross motor skill in an unstructured learning environment. In reference to the first cognitive style construct, it was hypothesized that field-independent subjects perform better than field-dependent subjects because they provide organization when the material to be learned lacks structure, leading them to rely on their analyzing and restructuring ability. The second construct refers to cognitive inhibition required for response uncertainty tasks as well as motor impulse inhibition. Subjects (57 boys, 65 girls) were 13-year-old junior high school students. Several visual perceptual tests were administered and gymnastic performance scores were measured at pretest, during the learning session, and posttest. The hypothesis that field-independent subjects are more successful in an unstructured learning environment than field-dependent subjects was confirmed for boys only. The correlations between the reflection-impulsivity variables and gymnastic performance were generally low, and no support could be found for the hypothesis that reflective subjects are more successful in learning the skill than impulsive subjects.

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Tim McGarry and Ian M. Franks

The ability to inhibit an earlier intended action in a stop-signal task is commonly assessed using the measures of latency and probability. The usual findings from stop-signal trials of lower response probabilities and shorter reaction latencies at reduced stop-signal delays were reported, as described in previous studies in terms of an independent race between stochastic processes (see Logan & Cowan, 1984). In addition, using the less common measure of amplitude, a continuum of reductions in surface EMG onsets was reported. Weakened motor discharges have yet to be explained in terms of a mechanism of inhibitory control. Using computer simulations of neural functioning, the properties of independence and non-independence were examined for their effects on motor pool output in terms of probability, latency, and EMG onsets. The data provided support to question the requirement of independent processes for a theory of inhibitory control.

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Derek T. Smith, Stacey Judge, Ashley Malone, Rebecca C. Moynes, Jason Conviser and James S. Skinner

Reduced strength, balance, and functional independence diminish quality of life and increase health care costs. Sixty adults (82.2 ± 4.9 years) were randomized to a control or three 12-week intervention groups: bioDensity (bD); Power Plate (PP) whole-body vibration (WBV); or bD+PP. bD involved one weekly 5-s maximal contraction of four muscle groups. PP involved two 5-min WBV sessions. Primary outcomes were strength, balance, and Functional Independence Measure (FIM). No groups differed initially. Strength significantly increased 22–51% for three muscle groups in bD and bD+PP (P < .001), with no changes in control and PP. Balance significantly improved in PP and bD+PP but not in control or bD. bD, PP, and bD+PP differentially improved FIM self-care and mobility. Strength improvements from weekly 5-min sessions of bD may impart health/clinical benefits. Balance and leg strength improvements suggest WBV beneficially impacts fall risk and incidence. Improved FIM scores are encouraging and justify larger controlled trials on bD and bD+PP efficacy.

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Edward M. Phillips, Jeffrey Katula, Michael E. Miller, Michael P. Walkup, Jennifer S. Brach, Abby C. King, W. Jack Rejeski, Tim Church and Roger A. Fielding

Objectives:

To examine baseline characteristics and change in gait speed and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores in participants medically suspended (MS) from a physical activity intervention (PA).

Design:

Randomized controlled trial.

Setting:

University and community centers.

Participants:

Sedentary older adults (N = 213) randomized to PA in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Pilot (LIFE-P).

Measurements:

MS was defined as missing 3 consecutive PA sessions in adoption and transition phases or 2 wk in maintenance phase because of a health event.

Results:

In all, 122 participants completed PA without MS (NMS subgroup), 48 participants underwent MS and resumed PA (SR subgroup), and 43 participants underwent MS and did not complete PA (SNR subgroup). At baseline, SNR walked slower (p = .03), took more prescribed medications (p = .02), and had lower SPPB scores than NMS and SR (p = .02). Changes from baseline to Month 12 SPPB scores were affected by suspension status, adjusted mean (SE) SPPB change: SNR 0.0957 (0.3184), SR 0.9413 (0.3063), NMS 1.0720 (0.1871); p = .03.

Conclusions:

MS participants unable to return to complete the PA in a trial of mobility-limited sedentary older adults had slower walking speeds, lower SPPB scores, and a higher number of prescribed medications at baseline. Change in SPPB scores at 12 months was related to suspension status.