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Impacting Children's Physical and Mental Health Through Kinesiology Support in Clinical Care

2019-10-02 07:21:43 | BioPortfolio

Summary

Over the past four decades, it has become clear that childhood physical activity carries with it a myriad of beneficial effects. It is closely linked to quality of life and the recognized benefits include, but are not limited to, optimal growth and development, a healthier self-concept, enhanced peer socialization, and decreased anxiety and depression. Long term, an active lifestyle decreases the risk of many important physical and mental morbidities. Thus, the observation that children living with medical conditions and disabilities (MC&D) today, although surviving longer thanks to advances in medical care, are much less active than their peers is a matter of significant concern. Research indicates that the 350,000 Ontario children with MC&D have lower levels of physical activity, higher screen time and more frequent sleep problems.

While the reasons underlying this reality are complex, previous research has identified a substantial subset of children who are motivated to be active but lack the confidence to do so. Fear of pain, concern for MC&D exacerbation and a lack of confidence in individual physical movement capacity contribute to their hesitation. Clinical experience suggests that these children represent 50% to 70% of inactive patients. Research indicates that being motivated to make a change and having the confidence that the desired change can be achieved are the essential precursors upon which successful behaviour change initiatives are built. This randomized, controlled trial will explore whether group sessions with a Registered Kinesiologist lead to a direct bolstering of physical activity confidence, and in turn to increased and sustained physical activity in these children. Such an approach holds the promise of a nonpharmacologic, low cost and accessible means of enhancing health that shall be met with a high level of patient and family support while bringing a significant societal and medical return on investment.

Description

Children living with medical conditions are often unsure about engaging in active play with friends and peers. Some children are worried that physical activity will increase symptoms of their existing illness and increase overall pain. Other children are unable to keep up with peers, or perceive themselves as not good enough to play. This research study will investigate children with medical conditions or disabilities can be supported to become more confident in one' abilities to play actively with their friends. Children who come to our rehabilitation, long term concussion, chronic pain and cardiology clinics will be invited to participate in this project. Children who agree to participate will be assessed three times, in the 1st, 14th and 27th week of the study. During each assessment, children will be asked to complete a short questionnaire about activity preferences and motivation. The child will be given a small activity monitor, about the size of a toonie, which is worn on a belt around the waist. Each child will be asked to wear the monitor for 7 days before returning it to the investigators. After the 1st week of the study, a coin flip will decide the study group for each child. Children in the control group will only do the three assessment visits. Children selected for the exercise group will come to a group physical activity session that will be held once a week for 12 weeks. At each of the 12 sessions, children will be able to try some active games and sports that are suitable for their medical condition or disability. There will be a group of about 8 children, who have similar interests and concerns about physical activity, at each session. The 12 weekly sessions will each be 2.5 hours in length. The study will evaluate how the children's physical activity and confidence to be active change over the 27 weeks, and compare the changes that occur between the children who do or do not attend the 12 weekly physical activity sessions. The results will indicate whether the 12 weekly sessions effectively increase the physical activity confidence of children with medical conditions and disabilities.

Study Design

Conditions

Congenital Heart Defect

Intervention

Kinesiology Support

Status

Not yet recruiting

Source

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-02T07:21:43-0400

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