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1.  Contact Sport Concussion Incidence 
Journal of Athletic Training  2006;41(4):470-472.
Reference/Citation: Koh JO, Cassidy JD, Watkinson EJ. Incidence of concussion in contact sports: a systematic review of the evidence. Brain Inj.20031790191712963556.
Clinical Question: What is the incidence of concussion in various contact sports?
Data Sources: Studies for the review were found through a MEDLINE search (1985–2000) and by gathering and reviewing older articles referenced in the searched articles. The main terms that were included in the search were brain injuries, brain concussion, and incidence. Text words that were also included were mild traumatic brain injury, concussion, incidence, injury, and head injury, along with the names of 8 contact sports ( American football, boxing, ice hockey, judo, karate, tae kwon do, rugby, and soccer).
Study Selection: For this review, concussion was defined as “a mild brain injury resulting from a direct blow to the head resulting in physiological changes in brain function.” Cohort studies with documented incidence of concussion in athletes from 8 identified contact sports were the target of the search. All studies of male and female athletes in any of the 8 contact sports, including practices and games and regardless of level of competition, were included in the study search. Possible articles for review were identified through a 3-step screening process. Article titles were initially screened by one of the authors. If the title seemed to be relevant to the purpose of the review, the abstract of the article was then screened for inclusion/exclusion criteria as the second step. To be included, studies had to relate to the incidence of injury to the head and brain, report results relevant to concussion, involve 1 of the 8 identified contact sports, and be published between 1985 and 2000. All systematic reviews about mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion were also included. Studies were excluded if they discussed concussion due to whiplash injury or concussion associated with spinal cord injury, facial bone fracture, or soft tissue injuries; if they reported prevalence, rather than incidence, of concussion; if they addressed chronic TBI; if they comprised case reports or letters to the editor; or if they lacked a denominator to determine risk rates. Finally, relevant and unknown articles from the abstract screening were reviewed again for the inclusion and exclusion criteria by an independent, outside party.
Data Extraction: A general methodologic criteria design was used to critically appraise all articles that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. This design appraised 11 study design and reporting criteria. In order for an article to be accepted into the systematic review, it had to meet at least the 5 mandatory criteria: description of the source population, appropriate description of inclusion and exclusion criteria, verifiable results from the raw data, differentiation of the incidence of injury between practice and game settings, and adequately measured denominator of population or person-time at risk. For each individual study, the 5 mandatory criteria listed above were rated with regard to whether they were included or addressed in the paper ( yes), were missing from the paper ( no), or were included but not described fully or in a way characterized by sound quality ( substandard). If any of the 5 mandatory criteria were rated no, the article was not evaluated any further. Data taken from these articles included sex, types of sessions in which concussion occurred, and numbers defining incidence of concussion within a contact sport. In some studies, rates were recalculated from the raw data in order to check accuracy, or if they were not presented in the published material, rates were calculated. These rates were recalculated with the denominator presented in the original study, athletes at risk for injury or time at risk for injury. Athlete-exposure was not defined in the review but is commonly used as the denominator in epidemiologic studies and represents one time in which an athlete takes part in a game or practice that exposes him or her to a risk for injury.
Main Results: The overall search identified 559 publications with possible relevance to the incidence of concussion in contact sports. After the titles were screened, 213 articles remained, and their abstracts were reviewed. The abstract screening for relevance yielded 127 articles to which the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. The investigators then critically reviewed 63 articles that fit the inclusion criteria. During this critical review, 40 articles did not meet the 5 mandatory criteria listed above and were not evaluated further. After final screening, 23 articles were included in the study. Review of these 23 articles revealed that among team sports for high school males, ice hockey athletes demonstrated the highest incidence of concussion (3.6 per 1000 athlete-exposures [AEs], 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.99–9.29) and soccer athletes the lowest incidence of concussion (0.18 per 1000 AEs, 95% CI = 0.14–0.22). At the professional level, similar concussion incidence rates were found in both ice hockey (6.5 per 1000 player-games, 95% CI = 4.8–8.6) and rugby (9.05 per 1000 player-games, 95% CI = 4.1–17.1) players. When compared with other individual male sports (karate and tae kwon do), boxing had the highest incidence of concussion in professional (0.8 per 10 rounds, 95% CI = 0.75–0.95) and amateur (7.9 per 1000 man-minutes, 95% CI = 5.45–11.09) athletes. Only 6 included studies (5 dealing with tae kwon do and 1 with soccer) addressed concussion incidence in females. Tae kwon do had the highest incidence of concussion (8.77 per 1000 AEs, 95% CI = 0.22–47.9).
Conclusions: The information presented in the article offers helpful insight into the rate of concussion in athletes from 8 contact sports. Ice hockey seemed to have the greatest incidence of concussion for males, whereas tae kwon do had the highest incidence rate for females. Relatively few rigorous epidemiologic studies on the incidence of concussion exist. Specifically, 63% of the identified studies did not meet the methodologic criteria to be included in this systematic review. In addition, limited information exists on the risk of concussion for females in contact sports. Future authors should address the limitations in reporting incidences, including the lack of adequately measured denominators (person-time at risk), vague definitions of concussion, combining game and practice injuries, and history of concussive injury. Future researchers should also include at least the 5 mandatory methodologic criteria used in the critical appraisal of articles for this review to allow for better reporting of concussion incidence and comparison among various studies. Concussion incidence in females should also be explored.
PMCID: PMC1748409  PMID: 17273475
head injury; brain injury; epidemiology
2.  The Role of Massage in Sports Performance and Rehabilitation: Current Evidence and Future Direction 
Background
Massage is a popular treatment choice of athletes, coaches, and sports physical therapists. Despite its purported benefits and frequent use, evidence demonstrating its efficacy is scarce.
Purpose
To identify current literature relating to sports massage and its role in effecting an athlete's psychological readiness, in enhancing sports performance, in recovery from exercise and competition, and in the treatment of sports related musculoskeletal injuries.
Methods
Electronic databases were used to identify papers relevant to this review. The following keywords were searched: massage, sports injuries, athletic injuries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, delayed onset muscle soreness, sports psychology, sports performance, sports massage, sports recovery, soft tissue mobilization, deep transverse friction massage, pre-event, and post exercise.
Results
Research studies pertaining to the following general categories were identified and reviewed: pre-event (physiological and psychological variables), sports performance, recovery, and rehabilitation.
Discussion
Despite the fact clinical research has been performed, a poor appreciation exists for the appropriate clinical use of sports massage.
Conclusion
Additional studies examining the physiological and psychological effects of sports massage are necessary in order to assist the sports physical therapist in developing and implementing clinically significant evidence based programs or treatments.
PMCID: PMC2953308  PMID: 21509135
sports massage; sports rehabilitation; sports performance; sports recovery
3.  Competency Revalidation Study of Specialty Practice in Sports Physical Therapy 
Purpose
The primary purpose of this study was to revalidate the competencies that define the practice of sports physical therapy. Additionally, the study allowed for the comparison of responses of board certified specialists in sports physical therapy to respondents who were not specialists.
Methods
A survey instrument based the on American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties practice analysis template and The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice was developed by the Sports Specialty Council and a panel of subject matter experts in sports physical therapy. The instrument was sent to 630 physical therapists, 315 of whom were board certified specialists in sports physical therapy and 315 of whom were randomly selected members of the Sports Physical Therapy Section who were not board certified specialists in sports physical therapy. Two hundred and thirty seven subjects returned completed surveys for a 41% response rate. One hundred and fifty eight respondents were sports specialists
Results
The survey results were reviewed by the Sports Specialty Council and another panel of subject matter experts. Using a defined decision making process, the results were used to determine the competencies that define the specialty practice of sports physical therapy. Survey results were also used to develop the sports physical therapy specialty board examination blue print. A number of significant comparisons between the specialists and non-specialists were identified.
Conclusion
The competency revalidation process culminated in the publication of the Sports Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice. This document serves to guide the process related to the attainment and maintenance of the board certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy.
PMCID: PMC2953335  PMID: 21509106
4.  Review of the Status of Learning in Research on Sport Education: Future Research and Practice 
Research concerning Sport Education’s educational impact has shown unequivocal results according to students’ personal and social development. Nevertheless, research is still sparse with respect to the model’s impact on student learning outcomes. The goal of the present review is to therefore scrutinize what is currently known regarding students’ learning during their participation in Sport Education. This research spans a variety of studies, cross various countries, school grades, the sports studied, as well as the methods applied and dimensions of student learning analyzed. While research on the impact of Sport Education on students’ learning, as well as teachers’ and students’ perceptions about student learning has shown students’ improvements during the participation in Sport Education seasons, there is still considerable variance in these results. For example, some studies report superior learning opportunities to boys and higher skill-level students while other studies have identified superior learning opportunities for girls and lower skill-level students. These inconsistent results can be explained by factors not considered in the Sport Education research, such as the effect of time on students’ learning and the control of the teaching-learning process within Sport Education units. In this review directions for future research and practice are also described. Future research should define, implement, and evaluate protocols for student-coaches’ preparation in order to understand the influence of this issue on students’ learning as well as consider the implementation of hybrid approaches. Moreover, future studies should consider the interaction of gender and skill level and a retention test in the analysis of students’ learning improvements in order to obtain a more realist and complete portrait of the impact of Sport Education. Finally, in order to reach an entirely understanding of the teaching-learning process, it is necessary to use research designs that attend to the complexity of this process.
Key PointsDespite research regarding has showed students’ improvements during the participation in Sport Education seasons, it remains somewhat equivocal.The studies included in this review show students’ improvements on skill, knowledge and tactical development, as we as game play, during the participation in Sport Education units.Some studies report superior learning opportunities to boys and higher skill-level students while other studies exposed superior learning opportunities to girls and lower skill-level students.The effect of time on students’ learning and the control of the teaching-learning process within Sport Education units can explain these equivocal results.Future research is encouraged to consider the implementation of protocols for student-coaches’ preparation, hybrid models, a retention test, the interaction of gender and skill level, and use research designs that attend to the complexity of the teaching-learning process.
PMCID: PMC4234955  PMID: 25435778
Assessment; gender; instructional models; physical education; skill level; students
5.  COMPETENCY REVALIDATION STUDY OF SPECIALTY PRACTICE IN SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY 
Background and Purpose:
Every ten years the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties conducts a practice analysis to revalidate and revise the description of specialty practice for sports physical therapy (SPT). The primary purpose of this paper is to describe the process and results of the most recent analysis, which defines the competencies that distinguish the subspecialty practice of (SPT). Additionally, the study allowed for the comparison of responses of board certified specialists in SPT to respondents who were not specialists while reflecting on demographic changes and evolving trends since the previous analysis of this physical therapy specialty practice was conducted 10 years ago.
Methods
A survey instrument based on guidelines from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties was developed by the Sports Specialty Council (SSC) and a panel of subject matter experts (SME) in SPT to re‐evaluate contemporary practice. The instrument was pilot tested and following revisions, was sent to 1780 physical therapists, 930 of whom were board certified specialists in SPT and 850 of whom were randomly selected members of the Sports Physical Therapy Section (SPTS) who were not board certified specialists in SPT. 414 subjects returned completed surveys for a 23% response rate. 235 of the respondents were known to be board certified sports specialists, 120 did not indicate their specialty status, and 35 were non‐specialists in SPT. All were members of the SPTS of the American Physical Therapy Association. The survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Univariate comparisons were performed using parametric and nonparametric statistical tests in order to evaluate differences between specialist and non‐specialist item responses.
Results
The survey results were reviewed by the SSC and a panel of SME. Using a defined decision making process, the results were used to determine the competencies that define the specialty practice of SPT. Survey results were also used to develop the SPT specialty board examination blueprint and define the didactic curriculum required of accredited SPT residency programs. A number of significant comparisons between the specialists and non‐specialists were identified.
Conclusion
The competency revalidation process culminated in the publication of the 4th edition of the Sports Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice in November of 2013. This document serves to guide the process related to the attainment and maintenance of the board certified clinical specialization in SPT. In anticipation of the continued evolution of this specialty practice, this process will be repeated every 10 years to reassess the characteristics of these providers and the factors they consider critically important and unique to the practice of SPT.
PMCID: PMC4275200  PMID: 25540711
Continued Competence; Practice Validation; Sports Certified Specialist; Sports Physical Therapy Clinical Specialization
6.  Leisure Physical Activity and the Risk of Fracture in Men 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(6):e199.
Background
Data from previous studies are inconsistent, and it is therefore uncertain whether, to what extent, and at what level leisure physical activity influences the risk of osteoporotic fractures in men.
Methods and Findings
A cohort of 2,205 men, 49–51 y of age, was enrolled in a longitudinal, population-based study. Leisure physical activity and other lifestyle habits were established at baseline and at ages 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. During 35 y of follow-up, 482 men had at least one fracture. Cox's proportional hazards regression was used to determine hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture associated with time-dependent physical activity habits and covariates. Men with a sedentary lifestyle (HR 2.56, 95% confidence interval 1.55–4.24) or men who walked or bicycled only for pleasure (HR 1.61, 95% confidence interval 1.10–2.36) had an increased adjusted risk of hip fracture compared with men who participated in regular sports activities for at least 3 h/wk. At the end of follow-up, 8.4% of the men with a high physical activity, 13.3% of the men with a medium physical activity, and 20.5% of the men with a low physical activity had suffered a hip fracture. According to the estimation of population-attributable risk, one third of all hip fractures could be prevented by participation in regular sports activities. High activity also conferred a reduced overall fracture risk.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that regular sports activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
From a large cohort study with 35 years of follow-up, Michaelsson and colleagues conclude that regular sport activities can reduce the risk of fractures in older men.
Editors' Summary
Background.
One of the hazards of old age is that the bones become less dense—and therefore weaker—so when an elderly person falls, the result is often a broken bone. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 y will break a bone because of this, and the consequences can be serious, particularly if the hip is broken. The thinning of bones, which is known as osteoporosis, does affect all people as they age, but the degree to which it occurs varies greatly between individuals. A priority area for medical research is finding ways in which osteoporosis can be reduced, with the aim of improving the lives of older people and reducing their risk of “osteoporotic fractures.” It is known that genetic and environmental factors can both play a part in how rapidly osteoporosis develops, but it is generally agreed that personal lifestyle factors are also important. Osteoporosis develops over many years; in most people bone density starts to decline after the age of about 30 y. Preventive action should therefore begin early.
Most research so far has focused on women, who are more at risk as the thinning of their bones increases after the menopause. (Indeed osteoporosis has sometimes been wrongly described as a “woman's disease.”) It is now accepted that women who are more physically active reduce the rate of decline in their bone density and, as a result, are less likely to break bones when they are elderly. There has been little research in men and the results have not been consistent.
Why Was This Study Done?
In order to provide better evidence as to whether men who do more physical activity have fewer osteoporotic fractures than those with lower activity levels, the researchers wanted to complete a study that was larger and was conducted over a longer period of time than previous research.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 1970 and 1973, the researchers invited all those men living in Uppsala, Sweden, who were aged between 49 and 51 y to participate in a health survey. Most of them (2,205) agreed to do so. When the study began, they were asked questions about the amount of physical activity they took outside working hours. They were asked the same questions again when they were aged 60, 70, 77, and 82 y. A record was also kept of the number of fractures the men had suffered during the 35-y study period. (Although some of the men died before the end of the study, about half were still alive at the end.) On the basis of the answers to the questions on physical activity at the start of the study, the researchers divided the men into three categories: those whose lifestyle was considered to be “sedentary,” those whose leisure activities included some walking and cycling, and those who participated in sports for at least 3 h a week. These were referred to as the low, medium, and high activity groups. Over the 35-y period, 428 men had at least one fracture and 134 broke a hip, but there were big differences between the groups—20% of the low-activity men had fractures compared with 13% of those with medium activity and only 8% of those in the high-activity group. In particular, the chance of having a hip fracture was reduced by increased activity.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Taking exercise reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture. Participating in sports seems to be particularly effective; the researchers calculate that one-third of fractures could be prevented if men could be persuaded to take part in sports regularly. The researchers do note that the very best evidence always comes from studies where people are assigned at random to receive a particular “treatment” (in this case, it would be exercise) and are compared with others who did not receive the treatment. This is known as a “randomized controlled trial.” Such a trial would be difficult, if not impossible, to organize on this topic, and the approach adopted by the researchers, which is known as a “cohort study,” does provide very strong evidence. There are many other benefits from increased exercise (for example, in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes), and most governments are now promoting sports and other active leisure pursuits. This study adds further weight to support such policies.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199.g002.
There are many free sources of information about osteoporosis on the Web, and many organizations exist to support people with the condition. For example, the National Osteoporosis Society (UK) has useful information about the condition
In the USA, there is the Nationtal Osteoporosis Foundation (USA)
The equivalent organization in Australia is Osteoporosis Australia
The UK National Health Service's NHS Direct Health Encyclopedia has an entry on osteoporosis
MedlinePlus is an excellent source of information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040199
PMCID: PMC1892039  PMID: 17579509
7.  INTEGRATION OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PRINCIPLES INTO A REHABILITATION PROGRAM 
Background and Purpose:
Rehabilitation and strength and conditioning are often seen as two separate entities in athletic injury recovery. Traditionally an athlete progresses from the rehabilitation environment under the care of a physical therapist and/or athletic trainer to the strength and conditioning coach for specific return to sport training. These two facets of return to sport are often considered to have separate goals. Initial goals of each are often different due to the timing of their implementation encompassing different stages of post-injury recovery. The initial focus of post injury rehabilitation includes alleviation of dysfunction, enhancement of tissue healing, and provision of a systematic progression of range-of-motion and strength. During the return to function phases, specific return to play goals are paramount. Understanding of specific principles and program parameters is necessary when designing and implementing an athlete's rehabilitation program. Communication and collaboration amongst all individuals caring for the athlete is a must. The purpose of this review is to outline the current evidence supporting utilization of training principles in athletic rehabilitation, as well as provide suggested implementation of such principles throughout different phases of a proposed rehabilitation program.
Evidence Acquisition:
The following electronic databases were used to identify research relevant to this clinical commentary: MEDLINE (from 1950–June 2011) and CINAHL (1982–June 2011), for all relevant journal articles written in English. Additional references were accrued by independent searching of references from relevant articles.
Results:
Currently evidence is lacking in the integration of strength and conditioning principles into the rehabilitation program for the injured athlete. Numerous methods are suggested for possible utilization by the clinician in practice to improve strength, power, speed, endurance, and metabolic capacity.
Conclusion:
Despite abundance of information on the implementation of training principles in the strength and conditioning field, investigation regarding the use of these principles in a properly designed rehabilitation program is lacking.
PMCID: PMC3164002  PMID: 21904701
periodization; program design; rehabilitation; strength; training
8.  Interactions between Non-Physician Clinicians and Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(11):e1001561.
In a systematic review of studies of interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry, Quinn Grundy and colleagues found that many of the issues identified for physicians' industry interactions exist for non-physician clinicians.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
With increasing restrictions placed on physician–industry interactions, industry marketing may target other health professionals. Recent health policy developments confer even greater importance on the decision making of non-physician clinicians. The purpose of this systematic review is to examine the types and implications of non-physician clinician–industry interactions in clinical practice.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE and Web of Science from January 1, 1946, through June 24, 2013, according to PRISMA guidelines. Non-physician clinicians eligible for inclusion were: Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, Physician Assistants, pharmacists, dieticians, and physical or occupational therapists; trainee samples were excluded. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Data were synthesized qualitatively into eight outcome domains: nature and frequency of industry interactions; attitudes toward industry; perceived ethical acceptability of interactions; perceived marketing influence; perceived reliability of industry information; preparation for industry interactions; reactions to industry relations policy; and management of industry interactions. Non-physician clinicians reported interacting with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Clinicians across disciplines met with pharmaceutical representatives regularly and relied on them for practice information. Clinicians frequently received industry “information,” attended sponsored “education,” and acted as distributors for similar materials targeted at patients. Clinicians generally regarded this as an ethical use of industry resources, and felt they could detect “promotion” while benefiting from industry “information.” Free samples were among the most approved and common ways that clinicians interacted with industry. Included studies were observational and of varying methodological rigor; thus, these findings may not be generalizable. This review is, however, the first to our knowledge to provide a descriptive analysis of this literature.
Conclusions
Non-physician clinicians' generally positive attitudes toward industry interactions, despite their recognition of issues related to bias, suggest that industry interactions are normalized in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. Industry relations policy should address all disciplines and be implemented consistently in order to mitigate conflicts of interest and address such interactions' potential to affect patient care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Making and selling health care goods (including drugs and devices) and services is big business. To maximize the profits they make for their shareholders, companies involved in health care build relationships with physicians by providing information on new drugs, organizing educational meetings, providing samples of their products, giving gifts, and holding sponsored events. These relationships help to keep physicians informed about new developments in health care but also create the potential for causing harm to patients and health care systems. These relationships may, for example, result in increased prescription rates of new, heavily marketed medications, which are often more expensive than their generic counterparts (similar unbranded drugs) and that are more likely to be recalled for safety reasons than long-established drugs. They may also affect the provision of health care services. Industry is providing an increasingly large proportion of routine health care services in many countries, so relationships built up with physicians have the potential to influence the commissioning of the services that are central to the treatment and well-being of patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
As a result of concerns about the tension between industry's need to make profits and the ethics underlying professional practice, restrictions are increasingly being placed on physician–industry interactions. In the US, for example, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires US manufacturers of drugs, devices, and medical supplies that participate in federal health care programs to disclose all payments and gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals. However, other health professionals, including those with authority to prescribe drugs such as pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and nurse practitioners are not covered by this legislation or by similar legislation in other settings, even though the restructuring of health care to prioritize primary care and multidisciplinary care models means that “non-physician clinicians” are becoming more numerous and more involved in decision-making and medication management. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers examine the nature and implications of the interactions between non-physician clinicians and industry.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 15 published studies that examined interactions between non-physician clinicians (Registered Nurses, nurse prescribers, midwives, pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and dieticians) and industry (corporations that produce health care goods and services). They extracted the data from 16 publications (representing 15 different studies) and synthesized them qualitatively (combined the data and reached word-based, rather than numerical, conclusions) into eight outcome domains, including the nature and frequency of interactions, non-physician clinicians' attitudes toward industry, and the perceived ethical acceptability of interactions. In the research the authors identified, non-physician clinicians reported frequent interactions with the pharmaceutical and infant formula industries. Most non-physician clinicians met industry representatives regularly, received gifts and samples, and attended educational events or received educational materials (some of which they distributed to patients). In these studies, non-physician clinicians generally regarded these interactions positively and felt they were an ethical and appropriate use of industry resources. Only a minority of non-physician clinicians felt that marketing influenced their own practice, although a larger percentage felt that their colleagues would be influenced. A sizeable proportion of non-physician clinicians questioned the reliability of industry information, but most were confident that they could detect biased information and therefore rated this information as reliable, valuable, or useful.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These and other findings suggest that non-physician clinicians generally have positive attitudes toward industry interactions but recognize issues related to bias and conflict of interest. Because these findings are based on a small number of studies, most of which were undertaken in the US, they may not be generalizable to other countries. Moreover, they provide no quantitative assessment of the interaction between non-physician clinicians and industry and no information about whether industry interactions affect patient care outcomes. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that industry interactions are normalized (seen as standard) in clinical practice across non-physician disciplines. This normalization creates the potential for serious risks to patients and health care systems. The researchers suggest that it may be unrealistic to expect that non-physician clinicians can be taught individually how to interact with industry ethically or how to detect and avert bias, particularly given the ubiquitous nature of marketing and promotional materials. Instead, they suggest, the environment in which non-physician clinicians practice should be structured to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of interactions with industry.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by James S. Yeh and Aaron S. Kesselheim
The American Medical Association provides guidance for physicians on interactions with pharmaceutical industry representatives, information about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, and a toolkit for preparing Physician Payments Sunshine Act reports
The International Council of Nurses provides some guidance on industry interactions in its position statement on nurse-industry relations
The UK General Medical Council provides guidance on financial and commercial arrangements and conflicts of interest as part of its good medical practice website, which describes what is required of all registered doctors in the UK
Understanding and Responding to Pharmaceutical Promotion: A Practical Guide is a manual prepared by Health Action International and the World Health Organization that schools of medicine and pharmacy can use to train students how to recognize and respond to pharmaceutical promotion.
The Institute of Medicine's Report on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice recommends steps to identify, limit, and manage conflicts of interest
The University of California, San Francisco, Office of Continuing Medical Education offers a course called Marketing of Medicines
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001561
PMCID: PMC3841103  PMID: 24302892
9.  Increasing Knee Range of Motion Using a Unique Sustained Method 
In order for functional and sport specific activities to occur, knee flexion and extension range of motion (ROM) is necessary. Loss of full ROM at the knee joint can be detrimental to the function of the lower extremity and treatment is needed to regain full function of ROM. Research supports the use of the sustained force to increase knee ROM. This article presents a unique method of attaining sustained force. The technique is cost effective, involves equipment already available in most physical therapy clinics, conserves time, and provides consistent force overtime without causing the therapist fatigue.
Discussion
Despite the fact clinical research has been performed, a poor appreciation exists for the appropriate clinical use of sports massage.
Conclusion
Additional studies examining the physiological and psychological effects of sports massage are necessary in order to assist the sports physical therapist in developing and implementing clinically significant evidence based programs or treatments.
PMCID: PMC2953321  PMID: 21509134
sports massage; sports rehabilitation; sports performance; sports recovery
10.  Systematic Review of Efficacy for Manual Lymphatic Drainage Techniques in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: An Evidence-Based Practice Approach 
Manual therapists question integrating manual lymphatic drainage techniques (MLDTs) into conventional treatments for athletic injuries due to the scarcity of literature concerning musculoskeletal applications and established orthopaedic clinical practice guidelines. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide manual therapy clinicians with pertinent information regarding progression of MLDTs as well as to critique the evidence for efficacy of this method in sports medicine. We surveyed English-language publications from 1998 to 2008 by searching PubMed, PEDro, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, and SPORTDiscus databases using the terms lymphatic system, lymph drainage, lymphatic therapy, manual lymph drainage, and lymphatic pump techniques. We selected articles investigating the effects of MLDTs on orthopaedic and athletic injury outcomes. Nine articles met inclusion criteria, of which 3 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We evaluated the 3 RCTs using a validity score (PEDro scale). Due to differences in experimental design, data could not be collapsed for meta-analysis. Animal model experiments reinforce theoretical principles for application of MLDTs. When combined with concomitant musculoskeletal therapy, pilot and case studies demonstrate MLDT effectiveness. The best evidence suggests that efficacy of MLDT in sports medicine and rehabilitation is specific to resolution of enzyme serum levels associated with acute skeletal muscle cell damage as well as reduction of edema following acute ankle joint sprain and radial wrist fracture. Currently, there is limited high-ranking evidence available. Well-designed RCTs assessing outcome variables following implementation of MLDTs in treating athletic injuries may provide conclusive evidence for establishing applicable clinical practice guidelines in sports medicine and rehabilitation.
PMCID: PMC2755111  PMID: 20046617
Edema; Lymphatic Pump Techniques; Lymphatic Therapy; Manual Lymph Drainage; Manual Therapy
11.  The Effectiveness of Community Action in Reducing Risky Alcohol Consumption and Harm: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(3):e1001617.
In a cluster randomized controlled trial, Anthony Shakeshaft and colleagues measure the effectiveness of a multi-component community-based intervention for reducing alcohol-related harm.
Background
The World Health Organization, governments, and communities agree that community action is likely to reduce risky alcohol consumption and harm. Despite this agreement, there is little rigorous evidence that community action is effective: of the six randomised trials of community action published to date, all were US-based and focused on young people (rather than the whole community), and their outcomes were limited to self-report or alcohol purchase attempts. The objective of this study was to conduct the first non-US randomised controlled trial (RCT) of community action to quantify the effectiveness of this approach in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms measured using both self-report and routinely collected data.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cluster RCT comprising 20 communities in Australia that had populations of 5,000–20,000, were at least 100 km from an urban centre (population ≥ 100,000), and were not involved in another community alcohol project. Communities were pair-matched, and one member of each pair was randomly allocated to the experimental group. Thirteen interventions were implemented in the experimental communities from 2005 to 2009: community engagement; general practitioner training in alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI); feedback to key stakeholders; media campaign; workplace policies/practices training; school-based intervention; general practitioner feedback on their prescribing of alcohol medications; community pharmacy-based SBI; web-based SBI; Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services support for SBI; Good Sports program for sports clubs; identifying and targeting high-risk weekends; and hospital emergency department–based SBI. Primary outcomes based on routinely collected data were alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions. Routinely collected data for the entire study period (2001–2009) were obtained in 2010. Secondary outcomes based on pre- and post-intervention surveys (n = 2,977 and 2,255, respectively) were the following: long-term risky drinking, short-term high-risk drinking, short-term risky drinking, weekly consumption, hazardous/harmful alcohol use, and experience of alcohol harm. At the 5% level of statistical significance, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the interventions were effective in the experimental, relative to control, communities for alcohol-related crime, traffic crashes, and hospital inpatient admissions, and for rates of risky alcohol consumption and hazardous/harmful alcohol use. Although respondents in the experimental communities reported statistically significantly lower average weekly consumption (1.90 fewer standard drinks per week, 95% CI = −3.37 to −0.43, p = 0.01) and less alcohol-related verbal abuse (odds ratio = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.96, p = 0.04) post-intervention, the low survey response rates (40% and 24% for the pre- and post-intervention surveys, respectively) require conservative interpretation. The main limitations of this study are as follows: (1) that the study may have been under-powered to detect differences in routinely collected data outcomes as statistically significant, and (2) the low survey response rates.
Conclusions
This RCT provides little evidence that community action significantly reduces risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms, other than potential reductions in self-reported average weekly consumption and experience of alcohol-related verbal abuse. Complementary legislative action may be required to more effectively reduce alcohol harms.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000123448
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
People have consumed alcoholic beverages throughout history, but alcohol use is now an increasing global public health problem. According to the World Health Organization's 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor (after high blood pressure and smoking) for disease and is responsible for 3.9% of the global disease burden. Alcohol use contributes to heart disease, liver disease, depression, some cancers, and many other health conditions. Alcohol also affects the well-being and health of people around those who drink, through alcohol-related crimes and road traffic crashes. The impact of alcohol use on disease and injury depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the pattern of drinking. Most guidelines define long-term risky drinking as more than four drinks per day on average for men or more than two drinks per day for women (a “drink” is, roughly speaking, a can of beer or a small glass of wine), and short-term risky drinking (also called binge drinking) as seven or more drinks on a single occasion for men or five or more drinks on a single occasion for women. However, recent changes to the Australian guidelines acknowledge that a lower level of alcohol consumption is considered risky (with lifetime risky drinking defined as more than two drinks a day and binge drinking defined as more than four drinks on one occasion).
Why Was This Study Done?
In 2010, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. This strategy emphasizes the importance of community action–a process in which a community defines its own needs and determines the actions that are required to meet these needs. Although community action is highly acceptable to community members, few studies have looked at the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm. Here, the researchers undertake a cluster randomized controlled trial (the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities [AARC] project) to quantify the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption and harms in rural communities in Australia. A cluster randomized trial compares outcomes in clusters of people (here, communities) who receive alternative interventions assigned through the play of chance.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers pair-matched 20 rural Australian communities according to the proportion of their population that was Aboriginal (rates of alcohol-related harm are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal individuals than among non-Aboriginal individuals in Australia; they are also higher among young people and males, but the proportions of these two groups across communities was comparable). They randomly assigned one member of each pair to the experimental group and implemented 13 interventions in these communities by negotiating with key individuals in each community to define and implement each intervention. Examples of interventions included general practitioner training in screening for alcohol use disorders and in implementing a brief intervention, and a school-based interactive session designed to reduce alcohol harm among young people. The researchers quantified the effectiveness of the interventions using routinely collected data on alcohol-related crime and road traffic crashes, and on hospital inpatient admissions for alcohol dependence or abuse (which were expected to increase in the experimental group if the intervention was effective because of more people seeking or being referred for treatment). They also examined drinking habits and experiences of alcohol-related harm, such as verbal abuse, among community members using pre- and post-intervention surveys. After implementation of the interventions, the rates of alcohol-related crime, road traffic crashes, and hospital admissions, and of risky and hazardous/harmful alcohol consumption (measured using a validated tool called the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) were not statistically significantly different in the experimental and control communities (a difference in outcomes that is not statistically significantly different can occur by chance). However, the reported average weekly consumption of alcohol was 20% lower in the experimental communities after the intervention than in the control communities (equivalent to 1.9 fewer standard drinks per week per respondent) and there was less alcohol-related verbal abuse post-intervention in the experimental communities than in the control communities.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide little evidence that community action reduced risky alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms in rural Australian communities. Although there was some evidence of significant reductions in self-reported weekly alcohol consumption and in experiences of alcohol-related verbal abuse, these findings must be interpreted cautiously because they are based on surveys with very low response rates. A larger or differently designed study might provide statistically significant evidence for the effectiveness of community action in reducing risky alcohol consumption. However, given their findings, the researchers suggest that legislative approaches that are beyond the control of individual communities, such as alcohol taxation and restrictions on alcohol availability, may be required to effectively reduce alcohol harms. In other words, community action alone may not be the most effective way to reduce alcohol-related harm.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001617.
The World Health Organization provides detailed information about alcohol; its fact sheet on alcohol includes information about the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol; the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health provides further information about alcohol, including information on control policies around the world
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has information about alcohol and its effects on health
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website on alcohol and public health that includes information on the health risks of excessive drinking
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about drinking and alcohol, including information on the risks of drinking too much, tools for calculating alcohol consumption, and personal stories about alcohol use problems
MedlinePlus provides links to many other resources on alcohol
More information about the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities project is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001617
PMCID: PMC3949675  PMID: 24618831
12.  A Descriptive Study of the Practice Patterns of Massage New Zealand Massage Therapists 
Background:
Massage therapy has grown in popularity, yet little is known globally or in New Zealand about massage therapists and their practices.
Purpose and Setting:
The aims of this study were to describe the practice patterns of trained Massage New Zealand massage therapists in New Zealand private practice, with regard to therapist characteristics; practice modes and settings, and therapy characteristics; referral patterns; and massage therapy as an occupation.
Research Design and Participants:
A survey questionnaire was mailed to 66 trained massage therapist members of Massage New Zealand who were recruiting massage clients for a concurrent study of massage therapy culture.
Results:
Most massage therapists were women (83%), NZ European (76%), and holders of a massage diploma qualification (89%). Massage therapy was both a full- (58%) and part-time (42%) occupation, with the practice of massage therapy being the only source of employment for 70% of therapists. Nearly all therapists (94%) practiced massage for more than 40 weeks in the year, providing a median of 16 – 20 hours of direct client care per week. Most massage therapists worked in a “solo practice” (58%) and used a wide and active referral network. Almost all therapists treated musculoskeletal symptoms: the most common client issues or conditions treated were back pain/problem (99%), neck/shoulder pain/problem (99%), headache or migraine (99%), relaxation and stress reduction (96%), and regular recovery or maintenance massage (89%). The most frequent client fee per treatment was NZ$60 per hour in a clinic and NZ$1 per minute at a sports event or in the workplace. Therapeutic massage, relaxation massage, sports massage, and trigger-point therapy were the most common styles of massage therapy offered. Nearly all massage therapists (99%) undertook client assessment; 95% typically provided self-care recommendations; and 32% combined other complementary and alternative medicine therapies with their massage consultations.
Conclusions:
This study provides new information about the practice of massage therapy by trained massage therapists. It will help to inform the massage industry and other health care providers, potential funders, and policymakers about the provision of massage therapy in the NZ health care system.
PMCID: PMC3088528  PMID: 21589692
Complementary and alternative therapies; massage therapy; New Zealand; integrative care; practice patterns
13.  Threats to Validity in the Design and Conduct of Preclinical Efficacy Studies: A Systematic Review of Guidelines for In Vivo Animal Experiments 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001489.
Background
The vast majority of medical interventions introduced into clinical development prove unsafe or ineffective. One prominent explanation for the dismal success rate is flawed preclinical research. We conducted a systematic review of preclinical research guidelines and organized recommendations according to the type of validity threat (internal, construct, or external) or programmatic research activity they primarily address.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Google, and the EQUATOR Network website for all preclinical guideline documents published up to April 9, 2013 that addressed the design and conduct of in vivo animal experiments aimed at supporting clinical translation. To be eligible, documents had to provide guidance on the design or execution of preclinical animal experiments and represent the aggregated consensus of four or more investigators. Data from included guidelines were independently extracted by two individuals for discrete recommendations on the design and implementation of preclinical efficacy studies. These recommendations were then organized according to the type of validity threat they addressed. A total of 2,029 citations were identified through our search strategy. From these, we identified 26 guidelines that met our eligibility criteria—most of which were directed at neurological or cerebrovascular drug development. Together, these guidelines offered 55 different recommendations. Some of the most common recommendations included performance of a power calculation to determine sample size, randomized treatment allocation, and characterization of disease phenotype in the animal model prior to experimentation.
Conclusions
By identifying the most recurrent recommendations among preclinical guidelines, we provide a starting point for developing preclinical guidelines in other disease domains. We also provide a basis for the study and evaluation of preclinical research practice.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The development process for new drugs is lengthy and complex. It begins in the laboratory, where scientists investigate the causes of diseases and identify potential new treatments. Next, promising interventions undergo preclinical research in cells and in animals (in vivo animal experiments) to test whether the intervention has the expected effect and to support the generalization (extension) of this treatment–effect relationship to patients. Drugs that pass these tests then enter clinical trials, where their safety and efficacy is tested in selected groups of patients under strictly controlled conditions. Finally, the government bodies responsible for drug approval review the results of the clinical trials, and successful drugs receive a marketing license, usually a decade or more after the initial laboratory work. Notably, only 11% of agents that enter clinical testing (investigational drugs) are ultimately licensed.
Why Was This Study Done?
The frequent failure of investigational drugs during clinical translation is potentially harmful to trial participants. Moreover, the costs of these failures are passed onto healthcare systems in the form of higher drug prices. It would be good, therefore, to reduce the attrition rate of investigational drugs. One possible explanation for the dismal success rate of clinical translation is that preclinical research, the key resource for justifying clinical development, is flawed. To address this possibility, several groups of preclinical researchers have issued guidelines intended to improve the design and execution of in vivo animal studies. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the authors identify the experimental practices that are commonly recommended in these guidelines and organize these recommendations according to the type of threat to validity (internal, construct, or external) that they address. Internal threats to validity are factors that confound reliable inferences about treatment–effect relationships in preclinical research. For example, experimenter expectation may bias outcome assessment. Construct threats to validity arise when researchers mischaracterize the relationship between an experimental system and the clinical disease it is intended to represent. For example, researchers may use an animal model for a complex multifaceted clinical disease that only includes one characteristic of the disease. External threats to validity are unseen factors that frustrate the transfer of treatment–effect relationships from animal models to patients.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 26 preclinical guidelines that met their predefined eligibility criteria. Twelve guidelines addressed preclinical research for neurological and cerebrovascular drug development; other disorders covered by guidelines included cardiac and circulatory disorders, sepsis, pain, and arthritis. Together, the guidelines offered 55 different recommendations for the design and execution of preclinical in vivo animal studies. Nineteen recommendations addressed threats to internal validity. The most commonly included recommendations of this type called for the use of power calculations to ensure that sample sizes are large enough to yield statistically meaningful results, random allocation of animals to treatment groups, and “blinding” of researchers who assess outcomes to treatment allocation. Among the 25 recommendations that addressed threats to construct validity, the most commonly included recommendations called for characterization of the properties of the animal model before experimentation and matching of the animal model to the human manifestation of the disease. Finally, six recommendations addressed threats to external validity. The most commonly included of these recommendations suggested that preclinical research should be replicated in different models of the same disease and in different species, and should also be replicated independently.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This systematic review identifies a range of investigational recommendations that preclinical researchers believe address threats to the validity of preclinical efficacy studies. Many of these recommendations are not widely implemented in preclinical research at present. Whether the failure to implement them explains the frequent discordance between the results on drug safety and efficacy obtained in preclinical research and in clinical trials is currently unclear. These findings provide a starting point, however, for the improvement of existing preclinical research guidelines for specific diseases, and for the development of similar guidelines for other diseases. They also provide an evidence-based platform for the analysis of preclinical evidence and for the study and evaluation of preclinical research practice. These findings should, therefore, be considered by investigators, institutional review bodies, journals, and funding agents when designing, evaluating, and sponsoring translational research.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001489.
The US Food and Drug Administration provides information about drug approval in the US for consumers and for health professionals; its Patient Network provides a step-by-step description of the drug development process that includes information on preclinical research
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provides information about all aspects of the scientific evaluation and approval of new medicines in the UK; its My Medicine: From Laboratory to Pharmacy Shelf web pages describe the drug development process from scientific discovery, through preclinical and clinical research, to licensing and ongoing monitoring
The STREAM website provides ongoing information about policy, ethics, and practices used in clinical translation of new drugs
The CAMARADES collaboration offers a “supporting framework for groups involved in the systematic review of animal studies” in stroke and other neurological diseases
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001489
PMCID: PMC3720257  PMID: 23935460
14.  A description of physical therapists' knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions 
Background
Physical therapists increasingly provide direct access services to patients with musculoskeletal conditions, and growing evidence supports the cost-effectiveness of this mode of healthcare delivery. However, further evidence is needed to determine if physical therapists have the requisite knowledge necessary to manage musculoskeletal conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe physical therapists' knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions.
Methods
This study utilized a cross-sectional design in which 174 physical therapist students from randomly selected educational programs and 182 experienced physical therapists completed a standardized examination assessing knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions. This same examination has been previously been used to assess knowledge in musculoskeletal medicine among medical students, physician interns and residents, and across a variety of physician specialties.
Results
Experienced physical therapists had higher levels of knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions than medical students, physician interns and residents, and all physician specialists except for orthopaedists. Physical therapist students enrolled in doctoral degree educational programs achieved significantly higher scores than their peers enrolled in master's degree programs. Furthermore, experienced physical therapists who were board-certified in orthopaedic or sports physical therapy achieved significantly higher scores and passing rates than their non board-certified colleagues.
Conclusion
The results of this study may have implications for health and public policy decisions regarding the suitability of utilizing physical therapists to provide direct access care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-32
PMCID: PMC1177956  PMID: 15963232
15.  DESIGN OF THE SPINE PATIENT OUTCOMES RESEARCH TRIAL (SPORT) 
Spine  2002;27(12):1361-1372.
Summary of Background Data
The Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT) was designed to assess the relative efficacy and cost-effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical approaches to the treatment of common conditions associated with low back and leg pain.
Objectives
To describe the rationale and design of the SPORT project and discuss its strengths and limitations.
Study Design
Descriptive
Methods
First, we explain the rationale for embarking on SPORT, i.e. deficiencies in the existing scientific knowledge base for treatment of these conditions. Second, we describe the design of SPORT, including topics such as: specific aims; participating sites; study population; recruitment and enrollment; study interventions; follow-up; outcomes; statistical analysis; and study governance and organization. Finally, we discuss issues that complicate the performance of randomized trials in surgery as they relate to the design and conduct of SPORT.
Results
The SPORT project is being conducted at 11 clinical centers around the United States. It involves the simultaneous conduct of three multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trials. The study includes patients with the three most common diagnoses for which spine surgery is performed: intervertebral disc herniation (IDH), spinal stenosis (SpS) and degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS), and compares the most commonly used standard surgical and non-surgical treatments for patients with these diagnoses. By the end of enrollment we anticipate a total of 500 IDH, 370 SpS, and 300 DS patients in the randomized trials. Patients who meet the eligibility criteria but decline to be randomized are invited to participate in an observational cohort study. Patients are being followed for a minimum of 24 months with visits scheduled at 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months.
Conclusions
The results of this study will provide high-quality scientific evidence to aid clinical decision making and improve treatment outcomes for these common, costly, and, in some instances, debilitating conditions.
PMCID: PMC2922028  PMID: 12065987
Randomized controlled trial; observational cohort; intervertebral herniated disc; spinal stenosis; low back pain; sciatica; degenerative spondylolisthesis; outcomes; cost-effectiveness
16.  Promoting physical therapists’ of research evidence to inform clinical practice: part 1 - theoretical foundation, evidence, and description of the PEAK program 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:125.
Background
There is a need for theoretically grounded and evidence-based interventions that enhance the use of research evidence in physical therapist practice. This paper and its companion paper introduce the Physical therapist-driven Education for Actionable Knowledge translation (PEAK) program, an educational program designed to promote physical therapists’ integration of research evidence into clinical decision-making. The pedagogical foundations for the PEAK educational program include Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Malcolm Knowles’s adult learning theory. Additionally, two complementary frameworks of knowledge translation, the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) and Knowledge to Action (KTA) Cycle, were used to inform the organizational elements of the program. Finally, the program design was influenced by evidence from previous attempts to facilitate the use of research in practice at the individual and organizational levels.
Discussion
The 6-month PEAK program consisted of four consecutive and interdependent components. First, leadership support was secured and electronic resources were acquired and distributed to participants. Next, a two-day training workshop consisting of didactic and small group activities was conducted that addressed the five steps of evidence based practice. For five months following the workshop, participants worked in small groups to review and synthesize literature around a group-selected area of common clinical interest. Each group contributed to the generation of a “Best Practices List” - a list of locally generated, evidence-based, actionable behaviors relevant to the groups’ clinical practice. Ultimately, participants agreed to implement the Best Practices List in their clinical practice.
Summary
This, first of two companion papers, describes the underlying pedagogical theories, knowledge translation frameworks, and research evidence used to derive the PEAK program – an educational program designed to promote the use of research evidence to inform physical therapist practice. The four components of the program are described in detail. The companion paper reports the results of a mixed methods feasibility analysis of this complex educational intervention.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-125
PMCID: PMC4085660  PMID: 24965501
Evidence based practice; Knowledge translation; Education; Post-graduate training; Physical therapy
17.  Playing with heart and soul…and genomes: sports implications and applications of personal genomics 
PeerJ  2013;1:e120.
Whether the integration of genetic/omic technologies in sports contexts will facilitate player success, promote player safety, or spur genetic discrimination depends largely upon the game rules established by those currently designing genomic sports medicine programs. The integration has already begun, but there is not yet a playbook for best practices. Thus far discussions have focused largely on whether the integration would occur and how to prevent the integration from occurring, rather than how it could occur in such a way that maximizes benefits, minimizes risks, and avoids the exacerbation of racial disparities. Previous empirical research has identified members of the personal genomics industry offering sports-related DNA tests, and previous legal research has explored the impact of collective bargaining in professional sports as it relates to the employment protections of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Building upon that research and upon participant observations with specific sports-related DNA tests purchased from four direct-to-consumer companies in 2011 and broader personal genomics (PGx) services, this anthropological, legal, and ethical (ALE) discussion highlights fundamental issues that must be addressed by those developing personal genomic sports medicine programs, either independently or through collaborations with commercial providers. For example, the vulnerability of student-athletes creates a number of issues that require careful, deliberate consideration. More broadly, however, this ALE discussion highlights potential sports-related implications (that ultimately might mitigate or, conversely, exacerbate racial disparities among athletes) of whole exome/genome sequencing conducted by biomedical researchers and clinicians for non-sports purposes. For example, the possibility that exome/genome sequencing of individuals who are considered to be non-patients, asymptomatic, normal, etc. will reveal the presence of variants of unknown significance in any one of the genes associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), long QT syndrome (LQTS), Marfan’s syndrome, and other conditions is not inconsequential, and how this information is reported, interpreted, and used may ultimately prevent the individual from participation in competitive sports. Due to the distribution of genetic diversity that reflects our evolutionary and demographic history (including the discernible effects of restricted gene flow and genetic drift associated with cultural constructs of race) and in recognition of previous policies for “leveling” the playing field in competitive sports based on “natural” athletic abilities, preliminary recommendations are provided to discourage genetic segregation of sports and to develop best practice guidelines for genomic sports medicine programs that will facilitate player success, promote player safety, and avoid genetic discrimination within and beyond the program.
doi:10.7717/peerj.120
PMCID: PMC3740137  PMID: 23940833
Legal issues; Personal genomics; Athletes; Sports; GINA; ELSI; Discrimination; Privacy; Sports medicine; Genetic screening
18.  A cluster randomised controlled trial of a comprehensive accreditation intervention to reduce alcohol consumption at community sports clubs: study protocol 
BMJ Open  2011;1(2):bmjopen-2011-000328.
Introduction
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for considerable harm from chronic disease and injury. Within most developed countries, members of sporting clubs consume alcohol at levels above that of communities generally. Despite the potential benefits of interventions to address alcohol consumption in sporting clubs, there have been no randomised controlled trials to test the effectiveness of these interventions. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a comprehensive accreditation intervention with community football clubs (Rugby League, Rugby Union, soccer/association football and Australian Rules football) in reducing excessive alcohol consumption by club members.
Methods and analysis
The study will be conducted in New South Wales, Australia, and employ a cluster randomised controlled trial design. Half of the football clubs recruited to the trial will be randomised to receive an intervention implemented over two and a half winter sporting seasons. The intervention is based on social ecology theory and is comprehensive in nature, containing multiple elements designed to decrease the supply of alcohol to intoxicated members, cease the provision of cheap and free alcohol, increase the availability and cost-attractiveness of non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beverages, remove high alcohol drinks and cease drinking games. The intervention utilises a three-tiered accreditation framework designed to motivate intervention implementation. Football clubs in the control group will receive printed materials on topics unrelated to alcohol. Outcome data will be collected pre- and postintervention through cross-sectional telephone surveys of club members. The primary outcome measure will be alcohol consumption by club members at the club, assessed using a graduated frequency index and a seven day diary.
Ethics and dissemination
The study was approved by The University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee (reference: H-2008-0432). Study findings will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
Trial registration number
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000224224.
Article summary
Article focus
This article describes the protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to reduce alcohol consumption at community sports clubs.
Key messages
Excessive alcohol consumption is particularly prevalent among people involved in sports, particularly team and contact sports.
There are currently no existing controlled trials testing the effectiveness of interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption in the sporting club setting.
The findings from this study will provide a basis for further research and potentially important findings for both policy makers and those implementing health promotion programmes in sporting clubs.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study has a strong design incorporating random allocation, blinding of data collection staff and the use of dual, validated outcome measures.
The intervention is multifaceted and comprehensive, based on a strong theoretical framework (social ecology) and past research evidence.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000328
PMCID: PMC3191607  PMID: 22021867
19.  CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT OF SPORTS HERNIA IN A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: A CASE REPORT 
Study Design:
Case Report
Background
Activity‐limiting groin pain is relatively common in athletes who participate in sports which involve rapid or repetitive twisting, cutting, and/or kicking. Despite the reported prevalence of this condition in athletes, there is still much controversy as to the anatomical structures involved and most effective treatment approach. There is limited evidence favoring conservative management of sports hernia as opposed to surgical intervention in professional athletes, and there are no reports of sports hernia management in the professional golf population. The purpose of this case report is to describe the conservative management and decision making used with a professional golfer with symptoms consistent with a sports hernia which allowed for successful return to prior level of sport participation.
Case Presentation
The subject of this case report is a professional golfer who developed lower abdominal and groin pain after changes in conditioning routine. Clinical presentation was consistent with a diagnosis of sports hernia. Rehabilitation of this athlete included a structured core muscle retraining program which utilized a step wise progression through the neurodevelopmental sequence in order to allow for development of neuromuscular control and stability required for return to golf.
Outcome
This athlete was able to return to full golf participation after 13 physical therapy visits over 4 weeks.
Discussion
The available evidence supports surgical intervention over conservative management in the treatment of sports hernia in the athletic population. A structured and comprehensive rehabilitation program addressing core muscle weakness and contributing impairments adjacent to injury may be a beneficial treatment option prior to surgical repair potentially allowing return to sport in some athletes.
Levels of Evidence:
4
PMCID: PMC4223293  PMID: 25383252
conservative management; neuromuscular retraining; sports hernia
20.  Getting kids active by participating in sport and doing It more often: focusing on what matters 
Background
Reduced time dedicated to physical education and free play in recent decades emphasizes the need to promote opportunities for sport participation in adolescents in order to increase physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of sociodemographic and biological characteristics, behavioural patterns, and school-related and sport-specific variables with time spent participating in sport.
Methods
A total of 1837 secondary school students (age: 14.6 ± 1.2 years; 50.9 % boys) from 19 of 23 schools in the Otago Region (New Zealand) completed an online sport survey and Youth Physical Activity Questionnaire in 2009. Using multilevel modeling, we examined the association of individual-, school- and sport-related variables on sport participation and the amount of time spent in sports.
Results
Higher rates of sport participation were associated with lower neighbourhood deprivation scores (OR (95%CI): 0.75 (0.49-1.14), 0.57 (0.38-0.86), 0.48 (0.28-0.81)), higher quintiles of physical activity (2.89 (2.10-3.96), 2.81 (1.68-4.70), 3.54 (2.24-5.57), 3.97 (1.99-7.95)), highest quintiles of screen time (1.58 (0.94-2.65), 1.99 (1.42-2.80), 2.17 (1.43-3.30), 1.88 (1.37-2.57)) and boys only school status (2.21 (1.57-3.10)). Greater amount of time spent in sports was associated with male gender (0.56 (0.43-0.74), lower neighbourhood deprivation scores (0.72 (0.59-0.93), 0.78 (0.58-1.04), 0.62 (0.39-1.00)), higher quintiles of physical activity (3.18 (2.29-4.41), 4.25 (2.91-6.20), 8.33 (5.58-12.44), 6.58 (4.07-10.64)), highest quintile of screen time (1.83 (1.31-2.56), greater availability of sports outside school (1.68 (1.22-2.32)), better sport management (2.57 (1.63-4.07)) and provision of sport courts at school (0.57 (0.40-0.81)). Conversely, obesity was associated with less time spent participating in sport (0.50 (0.31-0.80)).
Conclusion
Results support the use of sport participation as an effective strategy to increase physical activity levels and identify target groups and areas for interventions, program design and policy development. Interventions should focus on improving accessibility to sport programs for all adolescents, providing adequate sport grounds at school, and promoting good sport management practices. Programs and policies encouraging sport participation should address in particular the needs of adolescents living in deprived neighborhoods, those attending coeducational and girls-only schools, and those who are obese.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-86
PMCID: PMC3416726  PMID: 22788577
Adolescents; Sports; Physical activity; Sport management; Schools; Social determinants
21.  The PEX study – Exercise therapy for patellofemoral pain syndrome: design of a randomized clinical trial in general practice and sports medicine [ISRCTN83938749] 
Background
Patellofemoral complaints are frequently seen in younger and active patients. Clinical strategy is usually based on decreasing provoking activities as sports and demanding knee activities during work and leisure and reassuring the patient on the presumed good outcome.
Exercise therapy is also often prescribed although evidence on effectiveness is lacking.
The objective of this article is to present the design of a randomized clinical trial that examines the outcome of exercise therapy supervised by a physical therapist versus a clinically accepted "wait and see" approach (information and advice about the complaints only).
The research will address to both effectiveness and cost effectiveness of supervised exercise therapy in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
Methods/design
136 patients (adolescents and young adults) with patellofemoral pain syndrome are recruited in general practices and sport medicine centers. They will be randomly allocated receiving either 3 months of exercise therapy (or usual care.
The primary outcome measures are pain, knee function and perception of recovery after 3 months and 12 months of follow up and will be measured by self reporting.
Measurements will take place at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3 monthly until 1 year after inclusion in the study.
Secondary outcome measurements include an economic evaluation.
A cost-utility analysis will be performed that expresses health improvements in Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and incorporates direct medical costs and productivity costs
Discussion
This study has been designed after reviewing the literature on exercise therapy for patellofemoral pain syndrome. It was concluded that to merit the effect of exercise therapy a trial based on correct methodological concept needed to be executed.
The PEX study is a randomized clinical trial where exercise therapy is compared to usual care. This trial started in April 2005 and will finish in June 2007. The first results will be available around December 2007.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-31
PMCID: PMC1431535  PMID: 16545120
22.  Comparative Efficacy of Seven Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Patients with Depression: A Network Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001454.
Jürgen Barth and colleagues use network meta-analysis - a novel methodological approach - to reexamine the comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for adults with depression.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Previous meta-analyses comparing the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for depression were clouded by a limited number of within-study treatment comparisons. This study used network meta-analysis, a novel methodological approach that integrates direct and indirect evidence from randomised controlled studies, to re-examine the comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for adult depression.
Methods and Findings
We conducted systematic literature searches in PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase up to November 2012, and identified additional studies through earlier meta-analyses and the references of included studies. We identified 198 studies, including 15,118 adult patients with depression, and coded moderator variables. Each of the seven psychotherapeutic interventions was superior to a waitlist control condition with moderate to large effects (range d = −0.62 to d = −0.92). Relative effects of different psychotherapeutic interventions on depressive symptoms were absent to small (range d = 0.01 to d = −0.30). Interpersonal therapy was significantly more effective than supportive therapy (d = −0.30, 95% credibility interval [CrI] [−0.54 to −0.05]). Moderator analysis showed that patient characteristics had no influence on treatment effects, but identified aspects of study quality and sample size as effect modifiers. Smaller effects were found in studies of at least moderate (Δd = 0.29 [−0.01 to 0.58]; p = 0.063) and large size (Δd = 0.33 [0.08 to 0.61]; p = 0.012) and those that had adequate outcome assessment (Δd = 0.38 [−0.06 to 0.87]; p = 0.100). Stepwise restriction of analyses by sample size showed robust effects for cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy (all d>0.46) compared to waitlist. Empirical evidence from large studies was unavailable or limited for other psychotherapeutic interventions.
Conclusions
Overall our results are consistent with the notion that different psychotherapeutic interventions for depression have comparable benefits. However, the robustness of the evidence varies considerably between different psychotherapeutic treatments.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Depression is a very common condition. One in six people will experience depression at some time during their life. People who are depressed have recurrent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and might feel that life is no longer worth living. The condition can last for months and often includes physical symptoms such as headaches, sleeping problems, and weight gain or loss. Treatment of depression can include non-drug treatments (psychotherapy), antidepressant drugs, or a combination of the two. Especially for people with mild or intermediate depression, psychotherapy is often considered the preferred first option. Psychotherapy describes a range of different psychotherapies, and a number of established types of psychotherapies have all shown to work for at least some patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
While it is broadly accepted that psychotherapy can help people with depression, the question of which type of psychotherapy works best for most patients remains controversial. While many scientific studies have compared one psychotherapy with control conditions, there have been few studies that directly compared multiple treatments. Without such direct comparisons, it has been difficult to establish the respective merits of the different types of psychotherapy. Taking advantage of a recently developed method called “network meta-analysis,” the authors re-examine the evidence on seven different types of psychotherapy to see how well they have been shown to work and whether some work better than others.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers looked at seven different types of psychotherapy, which they defined as follows. “Interpersonal psychotherapy” is short and highly structured, using a manual to focus on interpersonal issues in depression. “Behavioral activation” raises the awareness of pleasant activities and seeks to increase positive interactions between the patient and his or her environment. “Cognitive behavioral therapy” focuses on a patient's current negative beliefs, evaluates how they affect current and future behavior, and attempts to restructure the beliefs and change the outlook. “Problem solving therapy” aims to define a patient's problems, propose multiple solutions for each problem, and then select, implement, and evaluate the best solution. “Psychodynamic therapy” focuses on past unresolved conflicts and relationships and the impact they have on a patient's current situation. In “social skills therapy,” patients are taught skills that help to build and maintain healthy relationships based on honesty and respect. “Supportive counseling” is a more general therapy that aims to get patients to talk about their experiences and emotions and to offer empathy without suggesting solutions or teaching new skills.
The researchers started with a systematic search of the medical literature for relevant studies. The search identified 198 articles that reported on such clinical trials. The trials included a total of 15,118 patients and compared one of the seven psychotherapies either with another one or with a common “control intervention”. In most cases, the control (no psychotherapy) was deferral of treatment by “wait-listing” patients or continuing “usual care.” With network meta-analysis they were able to summarize the results of all these trials in a meaningful way. They did this by integrating direct comparisons of several psychotherapies within the same trial (where those were available) with indirect comparisons across all trials (using no psychotherapy as a control intervention).
Based on the combined trial results, all seven psychotherapies tested were better than wait-listing or usual care, and the differences were moderate to large, meaning that the average person in the group that received therapy was better off than about half of the patients in the control group. When comparing the therapies with each other, the researchers saw small or no differences, meaning that none of them really stood out as much better or much worse than the others. They also found that the treatments worked equally well for different patient groups with depression (younger or older patients, or mothers who had depression after having given birth). Similarly, they saw no big differences when comparing individual with group therapy, or person-to-person with internet-based interactions between therapist and patient.
However, they did find that smaller and less rigorous studies generally found larger benefits of psychotherapies, and most of the studies included in the analysis were small. Only 36 of the studies had at least 50 patients who received the same treatment. When they restricted their analysis to those studies, the researchers still saw clear benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy, but not for the other four therapies.
What Do these Findings Mean?
Similar to earlier attempts to summarize and make sense of the many study results, this one finds benefits for all of the seven psychotherapies examined, and none of them stood as being much better than some or all others. The scientific support for being beneficial was stronger for some therapies, mostly because they had been tested more often and in larger studies.
Treatments with proven benefits still do not necessarily work for all patients, and which type of psychotherapy might work best for a particular patient likely depends on that individual. So overall this analysis suggests that patients with depression and their doctors should consider psychotherapies and explore which of the different types might be best suited for a particular patient.
The study also points to the need for further research. Whereas depression affects large numbers of people around the world, all of the trials identified were conducted in rich countries and Western societies. Trials in different settings are essential to inform treatment of patients worldwide. In addition, large high-quality studies should further explore the potential benefits of some of therapies for which less support currently exists. Where possible, future studies should compare psychotherapies with one another, because all of them have benefits, and it would not be ethical to withhold such beneficial treatment from patients.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001454.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish); information on psychotherapy includes information on its most common forms
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides detailed information about depression and includes personal stories about depression
The UK nonprofit Mind provides information on depression, including an explanation of the most common psychotherapies in the UK
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression (in English and Spanish)
The UK nonprofit healthtalkonline.org has a unique database of personal and patient experiences on depression
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001454
PMCID: PMC3665892  PMID: 23723742
23.  Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Physical Activity: A Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(7):e1000110.
Linda Cobiac and colleagues model the costs and health outcomes associated with interventions to improve physical activity in the population, and identify specific interventions that are likely to be cost-saving.
Background
Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for chronic disease, but a growing number of people are not achieving the recommended levels of physical activity necessary for good health. Australians are no exception; despite Australia's image as a sporting nation, with success at the elite level, the majority of Australians do not get enough physical activity. There are many options for intervention, from individually tailored advice, such as counselling from a general practitioner, to population-wide approaches, such as mass media campaigns, but the most cost-effective mix of interventions is unknown. In this study we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity.
Methods and Findings
From evidence of intervention efficacy in the physical activity literature and evaluation of the health sector costs of intervention and disease treatment, we model the cost impacts and health outcomes of six physical activity interventions, over the lifetime of the Australian population. We then determine cost-effectiveness of each intervention against current practice for physical activity intervention in Australia and derive the optimal pathway for implementation. Based on current evidence of intervention effectiveness, the intervention programs that encourage use of pedometers (Dominant) and mass media-based community campaigns (Dominant) are the most cost-effective strategies to implement and are very likely to be cost-saving. The internet-based intervention program (AUS$3,000/DALY), the GP physical activity prescription program (AUS$12,000/DALY), and the program to encourage more active transport (AUS$20,000/DALY), although less likely to be cost-saving, have a high probability of being under a AUS$50,000 per DALY threshold. GP referral to an exercise physiologist (AUS$79,000/DALY) is the least cost-effective option if high time and travel costs for patients in screening and consulting an exercise physiologist are considered.
Conclusions
Intervention to promote physical activity is recommended as a public health measure. Despite substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on intervention effectiveness, and uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of behavioural changes, it is highly likely that as a package, all six interventions could lead to substantial improvement in population health at a cost saving to the health sector.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The human body needs regular physical activity throughout life to stay healthy. Physical activity—any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that uses energy—helps to maintain a healthy body weight and to prevent or delay heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer. In addition, physically active people feel better and live longer than physically inactive people. For an adult, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity—walking briskly, gardening, swimming, or cycling—at least five times a week is sufficient to promote and maintain health. But at least 60% of the world's population does not do even this modest amount of physical activity. The daily lives of people in both developed and developing countries are becoming increasingly sedentary. People are sitting at desks all day instead of doing manual labor; they are driving to work in cars instead of walking or cycling; and they are participating less in physical activities during their leisure time.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many countries, the chronic diseases that are associated with physical inactivity are now a major public-health problem; globally, physical inactivity causes 1.9 million deaths per year. Clearly, something has to be done about this situation. Luckily, there is no shortage of interventions designed to promote physical activity, ranging from individual counseling from general practitioners to mass-media campaigns. But which intervention or package of interventions will produce the optimal population health benefits relative to cost? Although some studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of individual interventions, different settings for analysis and use of different methods and assumptions make it difficult to compare results and identify which intervention approaches should be give priority by policy makers. Furthermore, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of packages of interventions. In this study, the researchers investigate the cost-effectiveness in Australia (where physical inactivity contributes to 10% of deaths) of a package of interventions designed to promote physical activity in adults using a standardized approach (ACE-Prevention) to the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of health-care interventions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected six interventions for their study: general practitioner “prescription” of physical activity; general practitioner referral to an exercise physiologist; a mass-media campaign to promote physical activity; the TravelSmart car use reduction program; a campaign to encourage the use of pedometers to increase physical activity; and an internet-based program. Using published data on the effects of physical activity on the amount of illness and death caused by breast and colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and on the effectiveness of each intervention, the researchers calculated the health outcomes of each intervention in disability-adjusted life years (DALY; a year of healthy life lost because of premature death or disability) averted over the lifetime of the Australian population. They also calculated the costs associated with each intervention offset by the costs associated with the five conditions listed above. These analyses showed that the pedometer program and the mass-media campaign were likely to be the most cost-effective interventions. These interventions were also most likely to be cost-saving. Referral to an exercise physiologist was the least cost-effective intervention. The other three interventions, though unlikely to be cost-saving, were likely to be cost-effective. Finally, a package of all six interventions would be cost-effective and would avert 61,000 DALYs, a third of what could be achieved if every Australian did 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As in all modeling studies, these findings depend on the quality of the data and on the assumptions included by the researchers in their calculations. Unfortunately, there was substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on the effectiveness of each intervention and uncertainty about the long-term effects of each intervention. Nevertheless, the findings presented in this study suggest that the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of a combination of interventions designed to promote physical activity might provide policy makers with some guidance about the best way to reduce the burden of disease caused by physical inactivity. More specifically, for Australia, these findings suggest that the package of the six interventions considered here is likely to provide a cost-effective way to substantially improve the health of the nation.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110.
The World Health Organization provides information about physical activity and health (in several languages); it also provides an explanation of DALYs
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups and for health professionals
The UK National Health Service information source Choices also explains the benefits of regular physical activity
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about exercise and physical fitness (in English and Spanish)
The University of Queensland Web site has more information on ACE-Prevention (Assessing Cost-Effectiveness Prevention)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110
PMCID: PMC2700960  PMID: 19597537
24.  Sports Specialization in Young Athletes 
Sports Health  2013;5(3):251-257.
Context:
Sports specialization is intense training in 1 sport while excluding others. Sports specialization in early to middle childhood has become increasingly common. While most experts agree that some degree of sports specialization is necessary to achieve elite levels, there is some debate as to whether such intense practice time must begin during early childhood and to the exclusion of other sports to maximize potential for success. There is a concern that sports specialization before adolescence may be deleterious to a young athlete.
Evidence Acquisition:
PubMed and OVID were searched for English-language articles from 1990 to 2011 discussing sports specialization, expert athletes, or elite versus novice athletes, including original research articles, consensus opinions, and position statements.
Results:
For most sports, there is no evidence that intense training and specialization before puberty are necessary to achieve elite status. Risks of early sports specialization include higher rates of injury, increased psychological stress, and quitting sports at a young age. Sports specialization occurs along a continuum. Survey tools are being developed to identify where athletes fall along the spectrum of specialization.
Conclusion:
Some degree of sports specialization is necessary to develop elite-level skill development. However, for most sports, such intense training in a single sport to the exclusion of others should be delayed until late adolescence to optimize success while minimizing injury, psychological stress, and burnout.
doi:10.1177/1941738112464626
PMCID: PMC3658407  PMID: 24427397
intense training; children; adolescents; overtraining; exercise
25.  The Chilling Effect: How Do Researchers React to Controversy? 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(11):e222.
Background
Can political controversy have a “chilling effect” on the production of new science? This is a timely concern, given how often American politicians are accused of undermining science for political purposes. Yet little is known about how scientists react to these kinds of controversies.
Methods and Findings
Drawing on interview (n = 30) and survey data (n = 82), this study examines the reactions of scientists whose National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded grants were implicated in a highly publicized political controversy. Critics charged that these grants were “a waste of taxpayer money.” The NIH defended each grant and no funding was rescinded. Nevertheless, this study finds that many of the scientists whose grants were criticized now engage in self-censorship. About half of the sample said that they now remove potentially controversial words from their grant and a quarter reported eliminating entire topics from their research agendas. Four researchers reportedly chose to move into more secure positions entirely, either outside academia or in jobs that guaranteed salaries. About 10% of the group reported that this controversy strengthened their commitment to complete their research and disseminate it widely.
Conclusions
These findings provide evidence that political controversies can shape what scientists choose to study. Debates about the politics of science usually focus on the direct suppression, distortion, and manipulation of scientific results. This study suggests that scholars must also examine how scientists may self-censor in response to political events.
Drawing on interview and survey data, Joanna Kempner's study finds that political controversies shape what many scientists choose not to study.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Scientific research is an expensive business and, inevitably, the organizations that fund this research—governments, charities, and industry—play an important role in determining the directions that this research takes. Funding bodies can have both positive and negative effects on the acquisition of scientific knowledge. They can pump money into topical areas such as the human genome project. Alternatively, by withholding funding, they can discourage some types of research. So, for example, US federal funds cannot be used to support many aspects of human stem cell research. “Self-censoring” by scientists can also have a negative effect on scientific progress. That is, some scientists may decide to avoid areas of research in which there are many regulatory requirements, political pressure, or in which there is substantial pressure from advocacy groups. A good example of this last type of self-censoring is the withdrawal of many scientists from research that involves certain animal models, like primates, because of animal rights activists.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some people think that political controversy might also encourage scientists to avoid some areas of scientific inquiry, but no studies have formally investigated this possibility. Could political arguments about the value of certain types of research influence the questions that scientists pursue? An argument of this sort occurred in the US in 2003 when Patrick Toomey, who was then a Republican Congressional Representative, argued that National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants supporting research into certain aspects of sexual behavior were “much less worthy of taxpayer funding” than research on “devastating diseases,” and proposed an amendment to the 2004 NIH appropriations bill (which regulates the research funded by NIH). The Amendment was rejected, but more than 200 NIH-funded grants, most of which examined behaviors that affect the spread of HIV/AIDS, were internally reviewed later that year; NIH defended each grant, so none were curtailed. In this study, Joanna Kempner investigates how the scientists whose US federal grants were targeted in this clash between politics and science responded to the political controversy.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Kempner interviewed 30 of the 162 principal investigators (PIs) whose grants were reviewed. She asked them to describe their research, the grants that were reviewed, and their experience with NIH before, during, and after the controversy. She also asked them whether this experience had changed their research practice. She then used the information from these interviews to design a survey that she sent to all the PIs whose grants had been reviewed; 82 responded. About half of the scientists interviewed and/or surveyed reported that they now remove “red flag” words (for example, “AIDS” and “homosexual”) from the titles and abstracts of their grant applications. About one-fourth of the respondents no longer included controversial topics (for example, “abortion” and “emergency contraception”) in their research agendas, and four researchers had made major career changes as a result of the controversy. Finally, about 10% of respondents said that their experience had strengthened their commitment to see their research completed and its results published although even many of these scientists also engaged in some self-censorship.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, even though no funding was withdrawn, self-censoring is now common among the scientists whose grants were targeted during this particular political controversy. Because this study included researchers in only one area of health research, its findings may not be generalizable to other areas of research. Furthermore, because only half of the PIs involved in the controversy responded to the survey, these findings may be affected by selection bias. That is, the scientists most anxious about the effects of political controversy on their research funding (and thus more likely to engage in self-censorship) may not have responded. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the political environment might have a powerful effect on self-censorship by scientists and might dissuade some scientists from embarking on research projects that they would otherwise have pursued. Further research into what Kempner calls the “chilling effect” of political controversy on scientific research is now needed to ensure that a healthy balance can be struck between political involvement in scientific decision making and scientific progress.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222.
The Consortium of Social Science Associations, an advocacy organization that provides a bridge between the academic research community and Washington policymakers, has more information about the political controversy initiated by Patrick Toomey
Some of Kempner's previous research on self-censorship by scientists is described in a 2005 National Geographic news article
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222
PMCID: PMC2586361  PMID: 19018657

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