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Greg Reid, Marcel Bouffard and Catherine MacDonald

Professional practice guided by the best research evidence is a usually referred to as evidence-based practice. The aim of the present paper is to describe five fundamental beliefs of adapted physical activity practices that should be considered in an 8-step research model to create evidence-based research in adapted physical activity. The five beliefs are individualization, critical thinking, self-determination, program effectiveness, and multifactor complexity. The research model includes conceptualize the problem, conduct research on the process of the problem, conceptualize and specify the intervention, evaluate intervention outcomes, evaluate intervention processes, determine person-by-treatment interactions, determine context-dependent limitations, and investigate factors related to intervention adoption maintenance. The eight steps are explained with reference to two research programs that used a randomized control group design.

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Esther Rind and Andy Jones

Background:

At the population level, the prevalence of physical activity has declined considerably in many developed countries in recent decades. There is some evidence that areas exhibiting the lowest activity levels are those which have undergone a particularly strong transition away from employment in physically demanding occupations. We propose that processes of deindustrialization may be causally linked to unexplained geographical disparities in levels of physical activity. While the sociocultural correlates of physical activity have been well studied, and prior conceptual frameworks have been developed to explain more general patterns of activity, none have explicitly attempted to identify the components of industrial change that may impact physical activity.

Methods:

In this work we review the current literature on sociocultural correlates of health behaviors before using a case study centered on the United Kingdom to present a novel framework that links industrial change to declining levels of physical activity.

Results:

We developed a comprehensive model linking sociocultural correlates of physical activity to processes associated with industrial restructuring and discuss implication for policy and practice.

Conclusions:

A better understanding of sociocultural processes may help to ameliorate adverse health consequences of employment decline in communities that have experienced substantial losses of manual employment.

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Richard Bailey, Charles Hillman, Shawn Arent and Albert Petitpas

Despite the fact that physical activity is universally acknowledged to be an important part of healthy functioning and well-being, the full scope of its value is rarely appreciated. This article introduces a novel framework for understanding the relationships between physical activity (and specifically sport-related forms of physical activity) and different aspects of human development. It proposes that the outcomes of physical activity can be framed as differential ‘capitals’ that represent investments in domain-specific assets: Emotional, Financial, Individual, Intellectual, Physical, and Social. These investments, especially when made early in the life course, can yield significant rewards, both at that time and for years to come. The paper presents a new model—the Human Capital Model—that makes sense of these effects, outlines the different capitals, and briefly articulates the conditions necessary for the realization of Human Capital growth through physical activity.

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Vedrana Sember, Gregor Starc, Gregor Jurak, Mojca Golobič, Marjeta Kovač, Poljanka Pavletič Samardžija and Shawnda A. Morrison

Background:

This is the first assessment of the Republic of Slovenia’s efforts to synthesize and report physical activity (PA) standards for children and youth following the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system model.

Methods:

The Republic of Slovenia Report Card relies on research findings published in peer-reviewed journals, data compiled from national databases, and government initiatives which have been monitoring physical fitness standards in schools for the past 34 years (SLOfit and ACDSi). The Report Card initiative has been jointly coordinated by the University of Primorska and the University of Ljubljana. A Research Work Group consisting of 12 representatives from various aspects of Slovenia’s public, private, and government sectors convened to evaluate evidence and assign grades for each PA indicator.

Results:

Grades (A, highest, to F, lowest; INC, incomplete) for Slovenia are as follows: Overall Physical Activity (A-), Organized Sport Participation (B-), Active Play (D), Active Transportation (C), Sedentary Behaviors (B+), Family and Peers (INC), Schools (A), Community and the Built Environment (INC), and Government (B+).

Conclusions:

This inclusive PA report indicates that overall physical activity minutes remain high in Slovenian children and youth; however, more research is needed to determine the effects of family life, peer influences, and the built environment on active play behaviors.

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Carrie M. Geremia, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, James F. Sallis and Brian E. Saelens

Background: Assessment of park characteristics that may support physical activity (PA) can guide the design of more activity-supportive parks. Direct-observation measures are seldom used due to time and resource restraints. Methods: The authors developed shortened versions of the original Environmental Assessment of Public Recreation Spaces (EAPRS) tool and tested their construct validity by comparing scores from 40 parks in San Diego, CA to observe park use and PA. Results: PA elements were positively associated with park use and park PA across all versions, with the highest correlations for trails (.45 for use and .51 for PA using EAPRS-Original; .57 use and .62 PA using Abbreviated; and .38 use and .43 PA using Mini). Presence of amenities, using Abbreviated and Mini versions, was correlated with park use (.71, .64) and PA (.67, .59). The overall park quality score using Abbreviated and Mini had similar correlations (adjusted for park size) with park use (.74, .72) and PA (.72, .70) as EAPRS-Original (.71 use and .73 PA). Conclusion: In all 3 versions, EAPRS overall park scores were strongly related to observed park use and PA. Shorter versions of EAPRS make it more feasible to use park observations in research and practice.

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Olga Sarmiento, Andrea Torres, Enrique Jacoby, Michael Pratt, Thomas L. Schmid and Gonzalo Stierling

Background:

The Ciclovía-Recreativa is a free, community-based program in which streets are closed temporarily to motorized transport, allowing access to walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and cyclists only. We assessed existing information about the Ciclovía as a public health strategy and proposed next steps for research and public health practice.

Methods:

We conducted a systematic search of peer-reviewed and other literature, which was complemented by expert interviews and consultation.

Results:

We reviewed 38 Ciclovías from 11 countries. Most programs (84.2%) take place in urban settings. The programs range from 18−64 events per year (54 ± 24.6; 52 [mean ± standard deviation; median]) with events lasting from 2−12 hours (6 ± 2.4; 6). The length of the streets ranges from 1−121 km (14.6 ± 22.1; 7), and the estimated number of participants per event ranges from 60-1,000,000 persons (61,203 ± 186,668; 3810). Seventy-one percent of the programs include physical activity classes and in 89% of the Ciclovías, the streets are connected with parks.

Conclusions:

Ciclovías have potential for positive public health outcomes, but evidence on their effectiveness is limited. The different stages of new and established programs offer a unique opportunity for transnational studies aimed at assessing their public health impact.

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Ann-Sophie Van Hoecke, Christophe Delecluse, An Bogaerts and Filip Boen

Background:

This study evaluated the long-term effectiveness of multiple physical activity counseling strategies on subjective health among older adults.

Methods:

Sedentary older adults (n = 442) were randomized to 3 programs: (1) a one-contact referral to locally organized physical activities, (2) a one-contact provision of a walking program, (3) a 10-week multiple-contact physical activity coaching based on the Self-Determination Theory. Self-reports on well-being, trait anxiety and physical activity were completed at baseline (pretest), and 10 weeks after (10-week follow-up), 1 year after (1-year follow-up) and 2 years after (2-year follow-up) pretests.

Results:

All 3 programs yielded improvements in well-being and trait anxiety from pretest to 10-week follow-up and to 1-year follow-up. From pretest to 2-year follow-up, no changes emerged in well-being whereas trait anxiety increased significantly. Changes over time in well-being and anxiety were not significantly different between the programs. Changes in physical activity contributed significantly to the prediction of changes in well-being and trait anxiety.

Conclusions:

The findings demonstrate the year-round effectiveness of physical activity counseling on subjective health among older adults, irrespective of counseling strategy. However, a relapse to baseline level occurred 2 years after the intervention. Physical activity appears to be an important determinant of older adults’ well-being.

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Andrea Bundon, Barry S. Mason and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

This paper demonstrates how a qualitative methodology can be used to gain novel insights into the demands of wheelchair racing and the impact of particular racing chair configurations on optimal sport performance via engagement with expert users (wheelchair racers, coaches, and manufacturers). We specifically explore how expert users understand how wheels, tires, and bearings impact sport performance and how they engage, implement, or reject evidence-based research pertaining to these components. We identify areas where participants perceive there to be an immediate need for more research especially pertaining to the ability to make individualized recommendations for athletes. The findings from this project speak to the value of a qualitative research design for capturing the embodied knowledge of expert users and also make suggestions for “next step” projects pertaining to wheels, tires, and bearings drawn directly from the comments of participants.

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Yeshayahu Shayke Hutzler

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a growing movement in the health and educational disciplines that recommends emphasis on research outcomes during decision making in practice. EBP is made possible through evidence based research (EBR), which attempts to synthesize the volume and scientific rigor of intervention effectiveness. With the purpose of assessing the impact of this movement on adapted physical activity, this article (a) describes EBP/EBR and outlines its methodological development, (b) provides an historical perspective of EBP/EBR in APA, (c) examines EBR quality indicators in the review literature published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, (d) identifies and synthesizes thematic domains appearing in these review articles, and (e) discusses practical examples of professional issues in APA arising from a lack of EBR.

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Rebecca L. Vivrette, Laurence Z. Rubenstein, Jennifer L. Martin, Karen R. Josephson and B. Josea Kramer

Objective:

To determine seniors’ beliefs about falls and design a fall-risk self-assessment and educational materials to promote early identification of evidence-based fall risks and encourage prevention behaviors.

Methods:

Focus groups with community-dwelling seniors, conducted in two phases to identify perceptions about fall risks and risk reduction and to assess face validity of the fall-risk self-assessment and acceptability of educational materials.

Results:

Lay perception of fall risks was in general concordance with evidence-based research. Maintaining independence and positive tone were perceived as key motivators for fall prevention. Seniors intended to use information in the educational tool to stimulate discussions about falls with health care providers.

Implications:

An evidence-based, educational fall-risk self-assessment acceptable to older adults can build on existing lay knowledge about fall risks and perception that falls are a relevant problem and can educate seniors about their specific risks and how to minimize them.