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Jack M. Guralnik, Suzanne Leveille, Stefano Volpato, Marcia S. Marx and Jiska Cohen-Mansfield

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that, using objective performance measures of physical functioning, disability risk can be predicted in nondisabled older adults. This makes it possible to recruit a nondisabled but at-risk population for clinical trials of disability prevention. Successful disability prevention in this population, for example through an exercise program, would have a major public health impact. To enhance the development of exercise interventions in this group it would be valuable to have additional information not available from existing epidemiologic studies. This report examines the evidence that functional limitations preceding disability can be identified in a community-dwelling population and that it is feasible to recruit these people into studies. It introduces a series of articles examining the characteristics of this population: motivators and barriers to exercise, exercise habits and preferences, the impact of positive and negative affect, and the impact of pain and functional limitations on attitudes toward exercise.

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Tzu Chuan Yen, Nima Toosizadeh, Carol Howe, Michael Dohm, Jane Mohler and Bijan Najafi

Balance assessments could render useful objective performance measures to evaluate the efficacy of low back surgeries, yet these assessments have not been collectively examined to determine longitudinal sensitivity across surgical interventions. The purpose of this review was to determine sensitivity of balance measurements for disparate spinal disorders after surgical intervention. We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Articles were selected based on: (1) sample consisted of low back disorder individuals and (2) balance measurements were obtained both pre- and postsurgery. Most of the articles addressed 2 specific low back disorders: (1) adolescent idiopathic scoliosis/spinal fusion and (2) disc herniation/decompression surgery. For scoliosis patients, body sway increased (14–97%) immediately following surgery but gradually reduced (1–33%) approaching the 1-year post spinal fusion assessment. For patients with disc herniation, sway range, sway velocity, sway area, and sway variability all decreased (19–42%) immediately postsurgery. Balance assessments for adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis who underwent surgical intervention should be performed with visual occlusion, focus on time domain parameters, and evaluated with longer follow-up times. Patients with disc herniation who underwent decompression surgery should have balance assessments with visual deprivation, test conditions specifically addressing hip strategy, and correlation with pain.

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Tobias Lundgren, Gustaf Reinebo, Markus Näslund and Thomas Parling

discussion in sport psychology. Concerns has been raised that objective performance measures may be affected by a number of uncontrollable factors in the environment which can threaten the validity of the measure ( Thelwell, Greenlees, & Weston, 2006 ). It is true, especially in team sports such as ice

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Andrea Stewart, Barbara Sternfeld, Brittney S. Lange-Maia, Kelly R. Ylitalo, Alicia Colvin, Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, Sheila A. Dugan, Robin R. Green and Kelley Pettee Gabriel

/ethnic-specific categories), self-rated health, and any physical activity within the prior 12 months. The exclusion criteria related to severe physical function limitations were assessed using both participant-reported and objective performance measures. This exclusion criteria was operationalized as a Short Form (36) (SF