• Personality traits and individual differences predict changes in postural control under conditions of height-induced postural threat

      Zaback, Martin; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-09-05)
      This thesis explored whether individual characteristics could predict changes in postural control in young adults under conditions of height-induced postural threat. Eighty-two young adults completed questionnaires to assess trait anxiety, trait movement reinvestment, physical risk-taking, and previous experience with height-related activities. Tests of static (quiet standing) and anticipatory (rise to toes) postural control were completed under conditions of low and high postural threat manipulated through changes in surface height. Individual characteristics were able to significantly predict changes in static, but not anticipatory postural control. Trait movement reinvestment and physical risk-taking were the most influential predictors. Evidence was provided that changes in fear and physiological arousal mediated the relationship between physical risk-taking and changes in static postural control. These results suggest that individual characteristics shape the postural strategy employed under threatening conditions and may be important for clinicians to consider during balance assessment and treatment protocols.
    • Phosphorylation of Skeletal Muscle Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Phosphatase in Response to Insulin Stimulation

      Choptiany, Jonathan Robert; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2013-08-01)
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase (PDP) regulates carbohydrate oxidation through the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex. PDP activates PDH, enabling increased carbohydrate flux towards oxidative energy production. In culture myoblasts, both PDP1 and PDP2 undergo covalent activation in response to insulin–stimulation by protein kinase C delta (PKCδ). Our objective was to examine the effect of insulin on PDP phosphorylation and PDH activation in skeletal muscle. Intact rat extensor digitorum longus muscles were incubated (oxygenated at 25°C, 1g of tension) for 30min in basal or insulin–stimulated (10 mU/mL) media. PDH activity increased 58% following stimulation, (p=0.057, n=11). Serine phosphorylation of PDP1 (p=0.047) and PDP2 (p=0.006) increased by 29% and 48%, respectively (n=8), and mitochondrial PKCδ protein content was enriched by 45% in response to stimulation (p=0.0009, n=8). These data suggest that the insulin–stimulated increase in PDH activity in whole tissue is mediated through mitochondrial migration of PKCδ and subsequent PDP phosphorylation.
    • A physical activity intervention in a workplace setting

      Francoeur, Chera.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Physical inactivity poses a huge burden on Canada's health care system and is detrimental to the health of Canadians (Katzmarzyk & Janssen, 2004). Walking is a viable option for individuals to become physically active on a daily basis and is in fact the most commonly reported leisure time physical activity. It has been associated with many health benefits including weight loss/weight control, reduced risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, lowered blood pressure, and improved psychological wellbeing (Brisson & Tudor-Locke, 2004). Specifically, individuals' stage of change, selfefficacy and health related quality of life (HRQL) are three psychological constructs that can be greatly improved with increased physical activity (Dishman, 1991; Penedo & Dahn, 2005; Poag & McAuley, 1992). Public health physical activity recommendations exist but many individuals find these difficult to meet due to overly busy lifestyles (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2003). Pedometers are inexpensive devices that can monitor individual bouts of walking so that the incorporation of physical activity into one's daily life is more plausible. They are also excellent tools for motivation, goalsetting, and immediate feedback (Brisson & Tudor-Locke, 2004). Since many people spend a large proportion of their time at their places of employment, workplaces have begun to be a common site for the development of physical activity interventions. These programs have been growing in popUlarity and have shown numerous benefits for both employees and employers (Voit, 2001). The purpose of the current study was to implement and evaluate the use of a pedometer-based physical activity intervention incorporating goal-setting and physical activity logs in a workplace setting, and to examine the relationship between different types of self-efficacy (task, barrier, and scheduling) and different phases of the intervention. Twenty male participants from a local steel manufacturing plant who exhibited health risk factors (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, etc.) were assigned to one of two groups (group A or group B). All participants were asked to wear pedometers on their waists, record their daily steps, set goals that were outlined on a step-tracking sheet (detennined by their baseline number of steps), and keep track of their work days, wakelbed time, sedentary time, and time spent doing other physical activity. Group A began the intervention immediately following the baseline measures, whereas group B continued with their regular routine for 4 weeks before beginning. Physiological measures (height, weight, blood pressure, relative body fat, waist and hip circumference, and body mass index) were taken and a battery of questionnaires that assessed barrier, task and scheduling self-efficacy, HRQL, and stage of change administered at baseline, week 5 (end of intervention for group A), week 9 (end of intervention for group B; follow-up for group A) and week 13 (follow-up for both groups). Results showed that this workplace physical activity intervention was successful at increasing the participants' daily steps, that task self-efficacy is a significant predictor of participants' exercise adherence during the initial stages of participation (intervention phase), and that the participants felt that this intervention was effective. Finally, further exploratory analyses showed that this intervention was effective for all participants, but most valuable for participants most in need of improvement - that is, those who were most sedentary prior to the intervention. This intervention is an inexpensive use of simple and effective tools (e.g. pedometers), has the potential to attract a wide variety of participants and become a pennanent part of any health promotion initiative.
    • Physical activity of children with developmental coordination disorder in the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : does gender matter?

      Baerg, Sally; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-02-01)
      Baerg, S., Cairney, J., Hay, J., Rempel, L. and Faught, B.E. (2009). Physical Activity of Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder in the Presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Does Gender Matter? Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA. Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have difficulties in motor coordination. Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is considered the condition most co-morbid with DCD at approximately 50%. Children with DCD are generally less physically active (PA) than their peers, while children with ADHD are often considered more physically active. It is not known if the physical activity patterns of children with DCD-ADHD resemble those of children with primarily DCD or that of their healthy peers. The primary objective of this research was to contrast physical activity patterns between children with DCD, DCD-ADHD, and healthy controls. Since boys are generally reported as more physically active than girls, a secondary objective was to determine if gender moderated the association between groups and physical activity. A sample of males (n=66) and females (n=44) were recruited from the Physical Health Activity Study Team (PHAST) longitudinal study. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (2nd Ed.) was used to identify probable cases of DCD, and Connor's Revised Parent Rating Scale- Short Version to identify ADHD. Subjects (mean age=12.8±.4 yrs) were allocated to three groups; DCD (n=32), DCD-ADHD (n=30) and control (n=48). Physical activity was monitored for seven days with the Actical® accelerometer (activity count, step count and energy expenditure). Children completed the Participation Questionnaire (PQ) during the in-school session of data collection for the PHAST study. Height, weight and body mass index (BMI) were also determined. Analysis of variance showed significant group differences for activity count (F(2,56)=5.36, p=.007) and PQ (F(2,44 )=6. 71, p=.003) in males, while a significant group difference for step count (F(2,37)=3.55, p=.04) was found in females. Post hoc comparison tests (Tukey) identified significantly lower PQ and activity count between males with OCD and controls (p=.004) and males with DCD-ADHD and controls (p=.003). Conversely, females with DCD-ADHD had significantly more step counts than their controls (p=.01). Analysis of covariance demonstrated a gender by DCD groups negative interaction for males (activity count) (F(2,92):;:3.11, p=.049) and a positive interaction for females (step count) (F(1,92)=4.92, p=.009). Hyperactivity in females with DCD-ADHD appears to contribute to more physical activity, whereas DCD may contribute to decreased activity in males with DCD and DCDADHD. Further research is needed to examine gender differences in physical activity within the context of DCD and ADHD.
    • Physical training, inflammation and bone integrity in elite female rowers

      Kurgan, Nigel; Applied Health Sciences Program
      This study examined whether fluctuations in training load during an Olympic year lead to changes in mineral properties and factors that regulate bone (sclerostin (SOST), osteoprotegerin (OPG)), and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL)) and energy metabolism (insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and leptin), and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)) in elite heavyweight female rowers. Blood samples were drawn from female heavy-weight rowers (n=15) (27.0±0.8y, 80.9±1.3 kg, 179.4±1.4 cm) at baseline (T1 – 45 weeks pre-Olympic Games) and following 7, 9, 20, 25 and 42 weeks (T1-6, respectively). Serum was analyzed by Multiplex assays (EMD Millipore, Toronto, CAN). Total weekly training load was recorded over the weeks prior to each time point. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at T1 and T6. Total BMD increased significantly pre- to post-training (+1.6%). OPG, IGF-1, and leptin were not different across all time points. OPG/RANKL was significantly higher at both T4 and 5 compared to T1 and 2. High training load (T5) was associated with the highest TNF-α levels (2.1 pg/ml), and a parallel increase in SOST (993.1 pg/ml), while low training load (T6 - recovery) was associated with significantly lower TNF-α (1.5 pg/ml) and a parallel decrease in SOST (741.0 pg/ml). Leptin was a significant determinant of bone-mineral properties in these athletes. These results suggest exercise training can lead to an increase in OPG/RANKL, and training load periodization can control the inflammatory response associated with intense training, and combined with adequate caloric intake can preserve bone mineral integrity in elite female athletes.
    • Positive Body Image and Physical Activity in Pregnant Women

      angrish, kirina; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Generally, research has shown pregnant women have a more negative body image pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy compared to mid-to-late pregnancy. Negative body image in this population has been linked to several important pregnancy-related behaviours and poorer mental health that may put the mother’s and baby’s health at risk. In regards to positive body image, there has been a lack of research investigating how positive body image constructs such as body appreciation and embodiment change, and little work has examined how self-objectification changes. In nonpregnant populations, positive body image has been linked to several health behaviours and outcome; thus, it is important to determine if pregnant women experience positive body image during their pregnancy. In addition, participation in physical activity has been linked to improvements in body image via an increase in embodiment and a decrease in selfobjectification in young adult women. Whether this is true for the pregnant population is unknown. The overall purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between positive body image and physical activity in pregnant women. The first purpose was to determine whether body appreciation, embodiment, and self-objectification levels differ across trimester. The second purpose was to determine if physical activity was associated with body appreciation, and if this relationship was mediated by an increase in embodiment and a decrease in selfobjectification. Thirty-one women in the first trimester, 55 in the second trimester, and 75 in the third trimester completed measures of body appreciation, embodiment, self-objectification, and physical activity online. Multivariate analysis of covariance showed all measures differed by trimester. Post-hoc tests showed body appreciation (M = 3.79; SE = 0.08) and embodiment (M = 2.92; SE = 0.05) were higher and self-objectification (M = 3.86; SE = 0.14) lower in third trimester compared to first trimester (M = 3.37; SE = 0.12; M = 2.56; SE = 0.09; M = 4.54; SE = 0.22). Embodiment was also higher in the third trimester (M = 2.92; SE = 0.05) compared to the second trimester (M = 2.67; SE = 0.06). Serial mediation analysis revealed physical activity was associated with body appreciation through an increase in embodiment and a decrease in self-objectification. The findings from this study indicate positive body image improves across pregnancy and physical activity could be one way to improve positive body image in pregnant women.
    • Predicting the Risk of Lung Cancer in Never-smokers

      Thompson, Cameron; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Despite being considered a disease of smokers, approximately 10-15% of lung cancer cases occur in never-smokers. Lung cancer risk prediction models have demonstrated excellent ability to discriminate cases from non-cases, and have been shown to be more efficient at selecting individuals for future screening than current criteria. Existing models have primarily been developed in populations of smokers, thus there was a need to develop an accurate model in never-smokers. This study focused on developing and validating a model using never-smokers from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Cox regression analysis, with six-year follow-up, was used for model building. Predictors included: age, body mass index, education level, personal history of cancer, family history of lung cancer, previous chest X-ray, and secondhand smoke exposure. This model achieved fair discrimination (optimism corrected c-statistic = 0.6645) and good calibration. This represents an improvement on existing neversmoker models, but is not suitable for individual-level risk prediction.
    • Preliminary epidemiological study of latent tuberculosis in Mexican agricultural workers in the Niagara region, Canada

      Duarte, Angela.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2008-06-29)
      It is well documented that the majority of Tuberculosis (TB) cases diagnosed in Canada are related to foreign-bom persons from TB high-burden countries. The Canadian seasonal agricultural workers program (SAWP) operating with Mexico allows migrant workers to enter the country with a temporary work permit for up to 8 months. Preiimnigration screening of these workers by both clinical examination and chest X-ray (CXR) reduces the risk of introducing cases of active pulmonary TB to Canada, but screening for latent TB (LTBI) is not routinely done. Studies carried out in industrialized nations with high immigration from TBendemic countries provide data of lifetime LTBI reactivation of around 10% but little is known about reactivation rates within TB-endemic countries where new infections (or reinfections) may be impossible to distinguish from reactivation. Migrant populations like the SAWP workers who spend considerable amounts of time in both Canada and TBendemic rural areas in Mexico are a unique population in terms of TB epidemiology. However, to our knowledge no studies have been undertaken to explore either the existence of LTBI among Mexican workers, the probability of reactivation or the workers' exposure to TB cases while back in their communities before returning the following season. Being aware of their LTBI status may help workers to exercise healthy behaviours to avoid TB reactivation and therefore continue to access the SAWP. In order to assess the prevalence of LTBI and associated risk factors among Mexican migrant workers a preliminary cross sectional study was designed to involve a convenience sample of the Niagara Region's Mexican workers in 2007. Research ethics clearance was granted by Brock University. Individual questionnaires were administered to collect socio-demographic and TB-related epidemiological data as well as TB knowledge and awareness levels. Cellular immunity to M tuberculosis was assessed by both an Interferon-y release assay (lGRA), QuantiFERON -TB Gold In-Tube (QFf™) and by the tuberculin skin test (TSn using Mantoux. A total of 82 Mexican workers (out of 125 invited) completed the study. Most participants were male (80%) and their age ranged from 22 to 65 years (mean 38.5). The prevalence of LTBI was 34% using TST and 18% using QFTTM. As previously reported, TST (using ~lOmm cut-off) showed a sensitivity of 93.3% and a specificity of 79.1 %. These findings at the moment cannot predict the probability of progression to active TB; only longitudinal cohort studies of this population can ascertain this outcome. However, based on recent publications, lORA positive individuals may have up to 14% probability of reactivation within the next two years. Although according to the SA WP guidelines, all workers undergo TB screening before entering or re-entering Canada, CXR examination requirements showed to be inconsistent for this population: whereas 100% of the workers coming to Canada for the first time reported having the procedure done, only 31 % of returning participants reported having had a CXR in the past year. None of the participants reported ever having a CXR compatible with TB which was consistent with the fact that none had ever been diagnosed with active pulmonary TB and with only 3.6% reporting close contact with a person with active TB in their lifetime. Although Mexico reports that 99% of popUlation is fully immunized against TB within the first year of age, only 85.3% of participants reported receiving BOC vaccine in childhood. Conversely, even when TST is not part of the routine TB screening in endemic countries, a suqDrisingly high 25.6% reported receiving a TST in the past. In regards to TB knowledge and awareness, 74% of the studied population had previous knowledge about (active) TB, 42% correctly identified active TB symptomatology, 4.8% identified the correct route of transmission, 4.8% knew about the existence of LTBI, 3.6% knew that latent TB could reactivate and 48% recognized TB as treatable and curable. Of all variables explored as potential risk factors for LTBI, age was the only one which showed statistical significance. Significant associations could not be proven for other known variables (such as sex, TB contact, history of TB) probably because of the small sample size and the homogeneity of the sample. Screening for LTBI by TST (high sensitivity) followed by confirmation with QFT''"'^ (high specificity) suggests to be a good strategy especially for immigrants from TB high-burden countries. After educational sessions, workers positive for LTBI gained greater knowledge about the signs and symptoms of TB reactivation as well as the risk factors commonly associated with reactivation. Additionally, they were more likely to attend their annual health check up and request a CXR exam to monitor for TB reactivation.
    • THE PREVALENCE AND PREDICTION OF PULMONARY FIBROSIS IN AN

      Stegne, Marina; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-09-09)
      This thesis describes an ancillary project to the Early Diagnosis of Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer in Prior Asbestos Workers study and was conducted to determine the effects of asbestos exposure, pulmonary function and cigarette smoking in the prediction of pulmonary fibrosis. 613 workers who were occupationally exposed to asbestos for an average of 25.9 (SD=14.69) years were sampled from Sarnia, Ontario. A structured questionnaire was administered during a face-to-face interview along with a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) of the thorax. Of them, 65 workers (10.7%, 95%CI 8.12—12.24) had LDCT-detected pulmonary fibrosis. The model predicting fibrosis included the variables age, smoking (dichotomized), post FVC % splines and post- FEV1% splines. This model had a receiver operator characteristic area under the curve of 0.738. The calibration of the model was evaluated with R statistical program and the bootstrap optimism-corrected calibration slope was 0.692. Thus, our model demonstrated moderate predictive performance.
    • Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children from urban and rural Niagara

      Duncan, Kristy D. M.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-06-15)
      Purpose: The influence of environment in the development of overweight and obesity is an ongoing concern. This investigation examined the influence of urbanization on the rates of childhood overweight and obesity. Method: 2167 (1090M, 1077F) grade four children from 75 schools in Ontario's Niagara Region were sampled. A sophisticated algorithm overlaying electoral boundaries, population densities, and the knowledge of community members was used to classify schools into one of three location categories: urban {N= 1588), urban fringe {N= 379), and rural (A^= 234). Each subject was measured for: height, weight, and aerobic performance (Leger). Physical activity was evaluated with the self-report Participation Questionnaire (free-time and organized sport activities), and teacher's evaluations of student activity. Overweight (overweight and obesity combined) was measured both as a continuous (BMI) and categorical variable (BMI category), to evaluate the prevalence by location. A multivariate analysis was used to test for a suppression effect. Results: BMI and BMI category did not differ significantly by location or gender, and no evidence of a gender interaction existed. According to both a linear and logistic regression, physical activity or fitness levels did not suppress the influence of location on BMI and BMI category. Age, gender, free-time activity, organized sports, fitness level, and number of siblings, were all found to significantly influence overweight. Conclusions: It is plausible that the prevalence of overweight does not differ in urban and rural children from the Niagara Region. Further investigation is recommended, examining subjects by individual location of residence, in multiple regions throughout Ontario.
    • PROJECT K.T.A.P.E.: Kinesiology Tape for Athlete Performance

      Santin, Sydney Alexandria; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Kinesiology Tape (KT) is used to prevent or rehabilitate sports injuries, as well as to enhance an athlete’s performance. The primary aim of this study was to examine differences between athletes who use KT and athletes who do not use KT using an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework that included autonomous and controlled motivation for KT use. The secondary aims of this study were to (a) determine if KT is prevalent among competitive/recreational athletes, and (b) identify the reasons why athletes report using KT. Data was collected from a purposive sample of competitive/recreational athletes, using non-experimental (cross-sectional) design. Participants (n = 127) completed a questionnaire modified to fit the aims of this study using a secure online interface (www.surveymonkey.com). Multivariate Analyses of Variance indicated that athletes who used KT in the past 12 months reported higher subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, attitudes, intentions and autonomous motives, than athletes who did not use KT. Approximately half of the sample (49.6%) reported using KT in the past 12 months, and ‘rehabilitation’ was the main reason KT was used. Overall, the results of this study suggest a greater understanding of the psychological variables that may influence an athlete to use KT in sport. The results of this study support the use of the extended TPB in the context of understanding an athletes KT behaviours.
    • Project M.I.A.: Motivational Interviewing in Athletics

      Wierts, Colin; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Motivational Interviewing (MI) has been forwarded as an effective communication strategy for enhancing an individual’s motivation to make behaviour changes (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). With sport coaches playing a prominent role in an athlete’s motivation (Vallerand & Losier, 1999) and continually engaging in behaviour change conversations with athletes (Amorose, 2007), MI presents a viable option that could be used by sport coaches. However, research has yet to address MI in the context of sport despite the evidence supporting its practical use in changing behaviour in various health domains, as well as its endorsement among health professionals who are in the vocation of changing individual’s behaviour (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine Canadian university sport coach’s awareness, use, and knowledge of MI, and examine potential differences based on demographic and coaching history variables. A non-experimental, cross-sectional design was used to collect data from Canadian university sport coaches (N = 152) from February to March 2017. Coaches reported awareness (27.00%), use (29.80%), and knowledge of MI (77.85%). Chi-square statistics revealed coaches with alternative certifications to those certified by the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) reported greater awareness of MI (χ2 = 4.77, p < .05), and logistic regression results indicated that coaches with more certifications reported greater awareness of MI than those with less certifications (χ2 = 5.59, p < .05) and use of MI in their coaching practice (χ2 = 6.26, p < .05). In general, the findings suggest that MI has resonated with sport coaches, albeit minimally, but perhaps greater than anticipated, which presents an interesting avenue to further explore MI in the context of sport as a potential mechanism to improve coach-athlete communication patterns.
    • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation of the Wrist Flexors

      McGuire, Jessica; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-09-05)
      The present study examined a wrist extension-to-flexion contraction pattern that was theorized to result in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. However, the “reversal of antagonists” contraction pattern may have, alternatively, interfered with motor learning-related increases in strength. Participants (N=24) were matched on predicted strength and randomly assigned to either the control or experimental group. Training occurred during three test sessions within a one-week period. Retention and transfer (crossed-condition) tests were administered during a fourth test session two- weeks later. Both groups exhibited comparable increases in strength (20.2%) and decreases in muscle coactivation (35.2%), which were retained and transferred. Decreases in error and variability of the torque traces were associated with parallel decreases in variability of muscle activity. The reversal of antagonists technique did not interfere with motor learning-related increases in strength and decreases in variability. However, the more complex contraction pattern failed to result in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation of strength.
    • Protein Turnover in Rat Skeletal Muscle During In Vitro Hypo-Osmotic Stress

      Darling, Ryan; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2012-01-16)
      Hypo-osmolality influences tissue metabolism, but research on protein turnover in skeletal muscle is limited. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of hypo-osmotic stress on protein turnover in rat skeletal muscle. We hypothesized increased protein synthesis and reduced degradation following hypo-osmotic exposure. EDL muscles (n=8/group) were incubated in iso-osmotic (290 Osm/kg) or hypo-osmotic (190 Osm/kg) modified medium 199 (95% O2, 5% CO2, pH 7.4, 30±2 °C) for 60 min, followed by 75 min incubations with L-U[14C]phenylalanine or cycloheximide to determine protein synthesis and degradation. Immunoblotting was performed to assess signalling pathways involved. Phenylalanine uptake and incorporation were increased by 199% and 169% respectively in HYPO from ISO (p < 0.05). This was supported by elevated phosphorylation of mTOR Ser2448 (+12.5%) and increased Thr389 phosphorylation on p70s6 kinase (+23.6%) (p < 0.05). Hypo-osmotic stress increased protein synthesis and potentially amino acid uptake. Future studies should examine the upstream mechanisms involved.
    • Pyruvate dehydrogenase activity in response to skeletal muscle contraction at two stimulation frequencies in pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 2 knockout mice

      Dunford, Emily.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) plays an important role in regulating carbohydrate oxidation in skeletal muscle. PD H is deactivated by a set of PD H kinases (PD K 1-4) with PDK2 and 4 being the predominant isoforms in skeletal muscle. PDK2 is highly sensitive to pyruvate inhibition, and is the most abundant isoform, while PDKI and 4 protein content are normally lower. This study examined the PDK isoform content and PDHa activation in muscle at rest and 10 and 40 Hz stimulation from PDK2 knockout (PDK2KO) mice to delineate the role of PDK2 in activating the PDH complex during low and moderate intensity muscle contraction. PDHa activity was lower in PDK2KO mice during contraction while total PDK actitvity was -4 fold lower. PDK4 protein was not different, however PDKI partially compensated for the lack of PDK2 and was -56% higher than WT. PDKI is a very potent inhibitor of the PDH complex due to its phosphorylation site specificity and allosteric regulation. These results suggest that the site specificity and allosteric regulatory properties of the individual PDK isoforms are more important than total PDK activity in determining transformation of the complex and PDHa activity during acute muscle contraction.
    • A qualitative case study of the processes of peer education in a young adult tobacco control initiative, Leave the Pack Behind

      Gartner, Tiffany.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2007-05-21)
      Peer education involves peers offering credible and reliable information about sensitive life issues through the means of an informal peer group setting (Topping & Ehly, 1998). The purpose of this instrumental case study was to examine the processes of peer education through the exploration of two teams within a young adult tobacco control initiative, Leave the Pack Behind (LTPB). This qualitative case study examined two peer education teams over an eight-month period. Interviews, focus groups and observations were conducted with 12 participants across two peer education teams. Findings show the complexities of the processes of peer education including a connection between the stages of change and the changing role of the peer educator across stages of the empowerment process. Peer education teams and factors in the macro environment were also found to impact the process of peer education. This study provides a new definition for the process of peer education: peer education is a fluid process of knowledge exchange in which peer educators adopt different styles of facilitation as people move through stages of empowerment and change. This study contributes to the academic hterature upon the processes of peer education by providing a definition, a model and an overall understanding through an ecological and empowerment framework. The findings from this study suggest peer educators can be further trained to: use specific peer educational approaches that fit with student smoker's stage of change; better understand their position as a peer educator on the LTPB team; understand the reciprocal relationship between the macro environment and the peer education teams having an effect on one another.
    • A qualitative narrative inquiry of the experience of accessing community supports among women who have experienced trauma

      Akseer, Riaz.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Abuse related trauma can have serious consequences on individuals' health and their state of well-being and may result in decreased access to different determinants of health. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry using secondary data was to explore the experience of accessing community supports among eight women who had experienced abuse-related trauma. A conceptual framework drawn from the literature on social inclusion and social exclusion and a narrative inquiry method were used to explore epiphanies, customs, routines, images, and everyday experiences (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) among the women. A Three-Dimensional Space Narrative Structure was used to explore the participants' personal or internal conditions, feelings, hopes and reaction as well as their social experiences in interaction with others in community. The participants described experiencing the impact of trauma in their past and present circumstances, a lack of accommodation of difference, challenges in maintaining a sense of self in a world of assumption and labels, impact of trauma on the determinants of health, and uncertainty about the future. The findings from the study demonstrate experiences of social exclusion among the participants in the past, further isolation and social exclusion in the present when personal life issues were ignored by community support services, and uncertainty about what the future will bring for them. The findings indicate close relationships between the women's personal lives and their social connections which need to be considered to mitigate social exclusion and enhance social inclusion.
    • A qualitative study of inclusion at a residential summer camp

      Mecke, Tricia.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2003-07-14)
      The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the inclusion process at a Project Rainbow affiliated camp. Project Rainbow is a non-profit organization which promotes inclusion into children's camps in Ontario. This study was completed in order to provide stakeholders of the camping industry insight on how inclusive techniques can be implemented in residential camps. The researcher observed one camp's inclusion techniques for six days. The researcher observed three campers with disabilities and the camp staff and campers that interacted with them on a daily basis. While the researcher was at the camp, she interviewed nine staff members. The staff members consisted of the camp director, the inclusion coordinator, four camp counsellors, and three inclusion counsellors. An additional interview was conducted after arriving home from camp with the manager from Project Rainbow. The qualitative analysis program NVivo was used to help organize the analyzed data. The researcher found that in attempting to build a culture of inclusion, two important concepts are necessary. First, mutual leadership involved the camp director and Project Rainbow working together as a team to facilitate the inclusion process. Second, power of supportive relationships focused on inclusion being the responsibility of everyone, teamwork, and creating a welcoming environment. Hints at some potentially serious problems related to staff training, teamwork, and attitudes of non-disabled campers pointed to future research and policies which focus on the Ontario and Canadian Camping Associations' role in inclusion, in addition to camp in this study and Project Rainbow.
    • Reactive stepping strategies following lateral surface translations in individuals with a unilateral lower limb amputation

      Ferguson, Oran; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Following a loss of balance, individuals may utilize specific stepping strategies to prevent themselves from falling. The stepping strategies that are used by lower limb amputees, which likely consist of unique properties because of the limitations when using a prosthesis, have not been thoroughly identified. Therefore, this study examined the lateral reactive stepping strategies used eight amputees and ten non-amputees. They experienced four support-surface translations in both the leftward and rightward direction. Results indicated that amputees use unique reactive stepping strategies, particularly with the unloaded leg and when the direction of the perturbation causes unloading of the prosthesis. Amputee stepping strategies were characterized by fewer steps, lower quality of balance recovery, and wider variety compared to non-amputees. This study's findings highlight the reliance on the hip strategy in amputee reactive balance, and future studies should explore how amputees use their hip and trunk while executing reactive stepping strategies.
    • Reduced power output in skeletal muscles devoid of skMLCK: RLC phosphorylation contributes to peak performance

      Bowslaugh, Joshua; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Regulatory light chain (RLC) phosphorylation in fast twitch muscle is catalyzed by skeletal myosin light chain kinase (skMLCK), a reaction known to increase muscle force, work, and power. The purpose of this study was to explore the contribution of RLC phosphorylation on the power of mouse fast muscle during high frequency (100 Hz) concentric contractions. To determine peak power shortening ramps (1.05 to 0.90 Lo) were applied to Wildtype (WT) and skMLCK knockout (skMLCK-/-) EDL muscles at a range of shortening velocities between 0.05-0.65 of maximal shortening velocity (Vmax), before and after a conditioning stimulus (CS). As a result, mean power was increased to 1.28 ± 0.05 and 1.11 ± .05 of pre-CS values, when collapsed for shortening velocity in WT and skMLCK-/-, respectively (n = 10). In addition, fitting each data set to a second order polynomial revealed that WT mice had significantly higher peak power output (27.67 ± 1.12 W/ kg-1) than skMLCK-/- (25.97 ± 1.02 W/ kg-1), (p < .05). No significant differences in optimal velocity for peak power were found between conditions and genotypes (p > .05). Analysis with Urea Glycerol PAGE determined that RLC phosphate content had been elevated in WT muscles from 8 to 63 % while minimal changes were observed in skMLCK-/- muscles: 3 and 8 %, respectively. Therefore, the lack of stimulation induced increase in RLC phosphate content resulted in a ~40 % smaller enhancement of mean power in skMLCK-/-. The increase in power output in WT mice suggests that RLC phosphorylation is a major potentiating component required for achieving peak muscle performance during brief high frequency concentric contractions.