Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Inclusive Teaching & Learning Case Studies in Engineering, Architecture & Affiliated Disciplines
    Diversity and inclusion are core to UCD values. We seek to attract students from a wide range of social and economic backgrounds and students who reflect the true diversity of the country. And as a global university, UCD attracts international students from over 100 countries. This diversity enriches our campus, and the experience of our students. The University's strategy 2020-2024 'Rising to the Future' also recognises the importance of inclusion and diversity, in seeking to "provide an inclusive educational experience that defines international best practice and prepares our graduates to thrive in present and future societies." However, an inclusive educational experience will not be achieved by simply creating diversity in the student body. It requires that we adjust our approach in everything we do to support and encourage our students’ success. We have clearly articulated in our strategy, and further emphasised in our Education and Student Success strategy, that our goal is to "equip all our educators with the tools and resources required to embed Universal Design for Learning on an institution-wide basis".
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  • Publication
    Feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating a theory-driven group-based complex intervention versus usual physiotherapy to support self-management of osteoarthritis and low back pain (SOLAS)
    Background: The self-management of osteoarthritis (OA) and low back pain (LBP) through activity and skills (SOLAS) theory-driven group-based complex intervention was developed primarily for the evaluation of its acceptability to patients and physiotherapists and the feasibility of trial procedures, to inform the potential for a definitive trial. Methods: This assessor-blinded multicentre two-arm parallel cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial compared the SOLAS intervention to usual individual physiotherapy (UP; pragmatic control group). Patients with OA of the hip, knee, lumbar spine and/or chronic LBP were recruited in primary care physiotherapy clinics (i.e. clusters) in Dublin, Ireland, between September 2014 and November 2015. The primary feasibility objectives were evaluated using quantitative methods and individual telephone interviews with purposive samples of participants and physiotherapists. A range of secondary outcomes were collected at baseline, 6 weeks (behaviour change only), 2 months and 6 months to explore the preliminary effects of the intervention. Analysis was by intention-to-treat according to participants' cluster allocation and involved descriptive analysis of the quantitative data and inductive thematic analysis of the qualitative interviews. A linear mixed model was used to contrast change over time in participant secondary outcomes between treatment arms, while adjusting for study waves and clusters. Results: Fourteen clusters were recruited (7 per trial arm), each cluster participated in two waves of recruitment, with the average cluster size below the target of six participants (intervention: mean (SD) = 4.92 (1.31), range 2-7; UP: mean (SD) = 5.08 (2.43), range 1-9). One hundred twenty participants (83.3% of n = 144 expected) were recruited (intervention n = 59; UP n = 61), with follow-up data obtained from 80.8% (n = 97) at 6 weeks, 84.2% (n = 101) at 2 months and 71.7% (n = 86) at 6 months. Most participants received treatment as allocated (intervention n = 49; UP n = 54). The qualitative interviews (12 participants; 10 physiotherapists (PTs) found the intervention and trial procedures acceptable and appropriate, with minimal feasible adaptations required. Linear mixed methods showed improvements in most secondary outcomes at 2 and 6 months with small between-group effects. Conclusions: While the SOLAS intervention and trial procedures were acceptable to participants and PTs, the recruitment of enough participants is the biggest obstacle to a definitive trial.
      17Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Physical Therapists’ Opinion of E-Health Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain
    (1) Background: Using new technologies to manage home exercise programmes is an approach that allows more patients to benefit from therapy. The objective of this study is to explore physical therapists’ opinions of the efficacy and disadvantages of implementing a web-based tele-rehabilitation programme for treating chronic low back pain (CLBP). (2) Methods: Nineteen physical therapists from academic and healthcare fields in both the public and private sector participated in the qualitative study. Texts extracted from a transcript of semi-structured, individual, in-depth interviews with each consenting participant were analysed to obtain the participants’ prevailing opinions. The interviews lasted approximately 40 min each. The participants’ responses were rec-orded. (3) Results: The results suggest that telerehabilitation can only be successful if patients be-come actively involved in their own treatment. However, exercise programmes for LBP are not al-ways adapted to patient preferences. New technologies allow physical therapists to provide their patients with the follow-up and remote contact they demand, but long-term adherence to treatment stems from knowledge of the exercises and the correct techniques employed by the patients them-selves. (4) Conclusions: Physical therapists treating patients with chronic non-specific low back pain believe that new technologies can provide highly effective means of reaching a greater number of patients and achieving significant savings in healthcare costs, despite the limitations of a telereha-bilitation approach in developing an appropriate and effective patient-based physiotherapy pro-gramme.
      14Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    A randomized controlled trial investigating effects of an individualized pedometer driven walking program on chronic low back pain
    Background: Walking is an easily prescribed physical activity for people with low back pain (LBP). However, the evidence for its effectiveness to improve pain and disability levels for people with chronic low back pain (CLBP) within a community setting has not been evaluated. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a clinician guided, pedometer-driven, walking intervention for increasing physical activity and improving clinical outcomes compared to education and advice. Methods: Randomized controlled trial recruiting N = 174 adults with CLBP. Participants were randomly allocated into either a standardized care group (SG) or pedometer based walking group (WG) using minimization allocation with a 2:1 ratio to the WG. Prior to randomization all participants were given a standard package of education and advice regarding self-management and the benefits of staying active. Following randomization the WG undertook a physiotherapist guided pedometer-driven walking program for 12 weeks. This was individually tailored by weekly negotiation of daily step targets. Main outcome was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) recorded at baseline, 12 weeks, 6 and 12 months. Other outcomes included, numeric pain rating, International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), Back Beliefs questionnaire (BBQ), Physical Activity Self-efficacy Scale, and EQ-5D-5L quality of life estimate. Results: N = 138 (79%) participants completed all outcome measures at 12 weeks reducing to N = 96 (55%) at 12 months. Both observed and intention to treat analysis did not show any statistically significant difference in ODI change score between the WG and the SG at all post-intervention time points. There were also no significant between group differences for change scores in all secondary outcome measures. Post hoc sensitivity analyses revealed moderately disabled participants (baseline ODI ≥ 21.0) demonstrated a greater reduction in mean ODI scores at 12 months in the WG compared to SG, while WG participants with a daily baseline step count < 7500 steps demonstrated a greater reduction in mean ODI scores at 12 weeks. Conclusions: Overall, we found no significant difference in change of levels of (ODI) disability between the SG and WG following the walking intervention. However, ODI responses to a walking program for those with moderate levels of baseline disability and those with low baseline step count offer a potential future focus for continued research into the benefit of walking as a management strategy for chronic LBP.
      22Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Challenging the "old boys club" in academia: Gender and geographic representation in editorial boards of journals publishing in environmental sciences and public health
    (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022-06-21) ; ; ; ;
    In light of global environmental crises and the need for sustainable development, the fields of public health and environmental sciences have become increasingly interrelated. Both fields require interdisciplinary thinking and global solutions, which is largely directed by scientific progress documented in peer-reviewed journals. Journal editors play a critical role in coordinating and shaping what is accepted as scientific knowledge. Previous research has demonstrated a lack of diversity in the gender and geographic representation of editors across scientific disciplines. This study aimed to explore the diversity of journal editorial boards publishing in environmental science and public health. The Clarivate Journal Citation Reports database was used to identify journals classified as Public, Environmental, and Occupational (PEO) Health, Environmental Studies, or Environmental Sciences. Current EB members were identified from each journal’s publicly available website between 1 March and 31 May 2021. Individuals’ names, editorial board roles, institutional affiliations, geographic locations (city, country), and inferred gender were collected. Binomial 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the proportions of interest. Pearson correlations with false discovery rate adjustment were used to assess the correlation between journal-based indicators and editorial board characteristics. Linear regression and logistic regression models were fitted to further assess the relationship between gender presence, low- and middle-income country (LMIC) presence and several journal and editor-based indicators. After identifying 628 unique journals and excluding discontinued or unavailable journals, 615 journal editorial boards were included. In-depth analysis was conducted on 591 journals with complete gender and geographic data for their 27,772 editors. Overall, the majority of editors were men (65.9%), followed by women (32.9%) and non-binary/other gender minorities (0.05%). 75.5% journal editorial boards (n = 446) were composed of a majority of men (>55% men), whilst only 13.2% (n = 78) demonstrated gender parity (between 45–55% women/gender minorities). Journals categorized as PEO Health had the most gender diversity. Furthermore, 84% of editors (n = 23,280) were based in high-income countries and only 2.5% of journals (n = 15) demonstrated economic parity in their editorial boards (between 45–55% editors from LMICs). Geographically, the majority of editors’ institutions were based in the United Nations (UN) Western Europe and Other region (76.9%), with 35.2% of editors (n = 9,761) coming solely from the United States and 8.6% (n = 2,373) solely from the United Kingdom. None of the editors-in-chief and only 27 editors in total were women based in low-income countries. Through the examination of journal editorial boards, this study exposes the glaring lack of diversity in editorial boards in environmental science and public health, explores the power dynamics affecting the creation and dissemination of knowledge, and proposes concrete actions to remedy these structural inequities in order to inform more equitable, just and impactful knowledge creation.
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