Volume 10 – 2018

Creative dance as a tool for developing preschoolers’ communicative skills and movement expression


Communication among children as a social skill is a basic goal in preschool education and creative dance, as an expressive, aesthetic, non-verbal language, can be one of the tools to achieve that. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of a creative dance program, focusing on the development of communicative relations among children and their movement expressivity. An interventional program of creative dance was designed and implemented in an average kindergarten for eight weeks, aiming a) at the development of communicative relations, represented as cooperation, responsibility, initiative and activity for common entertainment and b) at movement expressivity, represented as body expression, expressive use of materials and expressing a concept. An observation protocol and a rubric were designed to evaluate children’s performance at the beginning and at the end of the intervention. Forty-nine preschoolers participated, divided into two groups: experimental (n=25) and control (n=24). One-way repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to compare separately communication relations and expressivity before and after the intervention (Time1, Time 2) and between groups. Concerning both communication relations and expressivity, there was a significant interaction effect between time and group (p<.001), which is evidence for the effectiveness of the program. Nevertheless, further research on a larger sample is needed.

Gender differences in perceived movement competence in childhood


Perceived movement competence (MC) has been identified as one of the potential correlates of physical activity (PA) during childhood. The aim of the present study was to examine perceived MC differences between boys and girls. One hundred and forty-two children (65 boys), aged 6-9 years (Μ=7.6, SD=0.9 years) volunteered to participate. Children’s perceived MC was assessed with the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence-Greek version (Venetsanou, Kossyva, Valentini, Afthentopoulou, & Barnett, under review) that comprises of two sub-scales [object control (OC) and locomotor (LOC)]. To investigate perceived MC differences between genders, multivariate analysis of covariance was utilized, using “age” as a covariate. According to the results, “age” did not differentiate children’s perceived MC. Moreover, boys had higher perceived OC than girls (F1,139=7.3, p= .008, η2= .05), whereas there were no gender differences in children’s perceived LOC (p=.88) or MC (p= .11). It seems that, between 6 and 9 years, gender differences in perceived MC are small and are located only in OC, a finding that can be linked to the kind of activities children participate in. Strengthening perceived MC in both genders, through developmentally appropriate movement experiences, positive feedback and equal expectations may contribute to improving their PA levels.

Repeatability of lower leg mechanics during gait in Parkinson’s disease


Aim of this work was to study the repeatability of kinematic and kinetic parameters of gait in Parkinson’s disease patients. Twelve patients with Parkinson’s disease performed 10 repeated gait trials at their natural speed on two different days. Lower limb kinematics were recorded by a Vicon optoelectronic system, with 6 cameras at a sampling frequency of 100Hz. Two Kistler force plates were placed in the middle of the walkway, to record the ground reaction forces with a sampling frequency of 1000Hz. The repeatability of the mechanical characteristics was estimated by the Coefficient of Multiple Correlation (CMC) for within-day and between-day measurements. The results showed high repeatability (CMC>.95) of the joint angle waveforms in all lower limb joints except pelvis (CMC>.77). The repeatability of joint moments was greater at the ankle joint (CMC>.98) and smaller at the hip joint (CMC >.90). In conclusion, most mechanical parameters of gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease show significant repeatability. However, during gait analysis of Parkinson’s disease patients, the minimum number of trials, which ensure very good reliability, should be performed, to avoid patients’ fatigue.

Comparative effectiveness of weight loss programs to Reduce Body Fat in Women aged 25-50 in Greece


There is a variety of weight loss programs to reduce Body Fat. In Greece, there is reported a 38% prevalence of obesity among the women, mainly in urban areas. This is a survey to compare the effectiveness of 3 weight loss programs among Caucasian women, aged 25-50 from Thessaloniki. Sixty obese women with a floating Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 were recruited for this trial and were randomly divided into 4 groups (3 Experimental and 1 Control). Their daily intake of energy was at least 1.200 kcal. The three different protocols were: Massage, Treadmill and Treadmill with Vacuum. They were applied for 12 weeks. Using the triangulation method, the processing of the data, which were collected from quantitative and qualitative research tools, showed, that the women, who followed the Treadmill with Vacuum protocol, showed the largest reductions in body fat, which were significant overall weight loss difference determined between the four groups. The factors (personal behavior, psychological, socioeconomic), that may have had affected, are presented and discussed. Accounting for the economic strategy (time and money) in those protocols, Treadmill with Vacuum alone may present a reasonable and effective option in the treatment of overweight and obesity in adults.

Psychomotor profile of elderly with Intellectual Disabilities: a comparison study with typical elders and with Alzheimer Disease


People with intellectual disability (ID) are living longer, creating new challenges in rehabilitation services. With a longer longevity, the risk of dementia is expected to increase also within this emerging group. The ageing process of persons with ID and the best program planning is a quite recent area of research and in psychomotor field there is a major need to better understand this process. This study aims to evaluate and analyze the psychomotor competences of elderly with Intellectual Disability (ID) through a comparison study with typical peers and elders with Alzheimer Disease (AD). The Portuguese version of Éxamen Geronto-Psychomoteur (EGP) was applied to 118 participants, between 45 and 94 (67.68±13.09) years-old, divided in three groups: 39 typical elders, 41 elderly with AD and 38 individuals with ID. Findings showed significant differences in psychomotor domains between participants with ID and typical peers, except in Balance and Fine Motor Skills of Lower Limbs. There were no statistically differences between participants with ID and AD in Static Balance II, Fine Motor Skills of Upper Limbs, Praxis, Knowledge of Body Parts, Vigilance, Perceptive Memory, Communication, Spatial and Temporal Domains. Elders with ID tend to present the lowest results in most domains. The identification of a psychomotor profile as well the relative role of ID and a comorbid disorder (e.g.: dementia) will contribute to more adequate decisions regarding proper services and interventions strategies.

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