Recent Submissions

  • The Ethics of Categorization in Sport: An Analysis of the Possible Elimination of Under 19 Lightweight Rowing in Canada

    Giesbrecht, Jacob; Applied Health Sciences Program
    In 2017 a proposed rule change was made by a working group appointed by Rowing Canada Aviron to eliminate the U19 lightweight rowing category in Canada. While this proposal did not come to fruition, it did raise questions about the purpose and ethics of maintaining such a category. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore the perceptions of those closely involved with U19 lightweight rowing in Canada and the ethical considerations and ramifications of a possible ban on this category. Ten interviews were conducted with coaches and administrators closely associated with the topic to ascertain individual and group perceptions of this proposal. Based on Charles Taylor’s hermeneutic phenomenology, this study uncovered and evaluated the ethical implications and validity of the possible elimination of U19 rowing in Canada and provided a commentary on categorization in sport more broadly. The results of the interviews revealed six main emergent themes that included concepts of; natural lightweights, opportunity and fairness, health and harm reduction, education, coaching abuse or neglect, and accountability. After analyzing the perceptions of participants and applying an ethical analysis to the issue, a possible ban of U19 lightweight rowing in Canada was deemed ethically unjustifiable.
  • The Influence of Demographics on Perceived Sport Event Impacts: 2017 Canadian Women’s Curling Championship

    Charlebois, Chris; Applied Health Sciences Program
    This study examines the perceived event impacts of attendees at the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (a national women’s curling event), that was held in St. Catharines, Ontario. Drawing on the recommendations of previous literature, the study investigates the perceived event impacts on attendees of a national sport event – the 2017 Canadian Women’s Curling Championships – by multiple socio-demographic characteristics. Multiple theoretical lenses are applied to understand the perceptions of the respondents. Utilizing a previously developed social impact scale model (Kim, Mun Jun, Walker, & Drane, 2015), a survey was completed by event attendees. In total, a sample size of 239 was used to conduct the study. Following reliability and validity tests on the model, MANOVA tests were completed to explore statistically significant impact factors and the influence that age, income levels, education levels, sport affinity, and residency (local and non-local) had on perceived event impacts. Results indicate that age and sport affinity (demographic variables) have a statistically significant influence on the overall perceived event impact. The study examines the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on perceived impacts at a non-mega sport event. Further, the research provides insight into an approach for conducting sport event impact research in that researchers need to further explore how event characteristics themselves (e.g., total participants, scale or geographic location) can influence perceived impact. Thus, the study suggests that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to event impact research is not realistic. As a result, future research will need to explore the influence of socio-demographic factors and the way in which event characteristics can impact the exchange process that occurs, informing their perceived impact.
  • Relationships Between Sleep Quality, Sleep Hygiene, and Psychological Distress In University Student-Athletes

    Gladney, Chris; Gladney, Chris; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Post-secondary student-athletes are one of the most vulnerable populations that experience poor sleep quality, which has detrimental effects on psychological distress due to the strong relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress. Research suggests that by improving sleep hygiene behaviours an individual can improve sleep quality, which will improve psychological distress. Few studies have examined sleep quality, sleep hygiene and psychological distress together among a post-secondary population and none have investigated a student-athlete population. The present study examined if sleep hygiene mediates the relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress among post-secondary student-athletes. A sample of 94 student-athletes completed the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Sleep Hygiene Practice Scale (Buyess et al., 1989; Kessler et al., 2002; Lin, Cheng, Yang, & Hsu, 2007). A mediation model was used to examine the relationships between the variables using the global scores. Bootstrapping was conducted to increase power of the model, which resulted in confidence interval levels that did not include zero indicating the indirect effect is significant and sleep hygiene mediates the relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress. This study can implicate future studies regarding sleep hygiene interventions changing the lifestyle habits and behaviours affecting their sleep hygiene, which is shown to impact sleep quality and psychological distress. In conclusion, Sleep hygiene mediated the relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress.
  • How Do Adventure-Based Team Building Programs Produce Change? A Case Study.

    Lau, Lewis; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Adventure-based team building programs are commonly used for the purposes of creating positive change in individuals and groups of people. Nevertheless, the body of research on these programs is largely composed of quantitative studies that examine their efficacy and outcomes, but fail to address questions regarding how these programs facilitate positive change. Answering past scholars’ call for theory-based research that explores processes, the present study utilized a qualitative case study design to explore how a challenge course program facilitated interpersonal and intrapersonal change among a group of post-secondary students employed as Residence Life Staff at a mid-sized Canadian university. Data were collected via researcher observations of the program, focus group interviews, individual interviews, and document collection, and analyzed through inductive and comparative analysis. Results revealed that the program facilitated increases in group sociability and participants’ interpersonal relationships, communication and confidence. Program elements that facilitated those changes, such as an informal atmosphere and an element of challenge, were also identified. Kurt Lewin’s (1947a) theory of planned change was utilized as a theoretical framework for understanding the process of change, which illuminated the importance of participants’ pre-program readiness for change (i.e., unfreezing) and the sustainment of those changes post-program (i.e., freezing). Lewin’s conceptualization of field theory and group dynamics offered further relevant theoretical insights. Findings have implications for future participants, practitioners, and researchers, and make a theoretical case for the continued use of Lewin’s theory of planned change as a framework in the field of adventure and experiential education.
  • 'How I Teach and Coach': The Epistemological Beliefs of Teacher-Coaches

    Foley, James; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Epistemological beliefs (EB), or beliefs about knowledge and learning, help to inform teaching and coaching practices, and may have significant learning and developmental outcomes for students. Therefore, the purpose of this grounded theory study was to better understand the EB of high school physical education (PE) teacher-coaches as it relates to the sources and simplicity of games knowledge and how those beliefs inform their instructional practices when teaching games or coaching extracurricular sports in schools. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 6 secondary school PE teacher-coaches from south-central Canada. Teacher-coaches believed that games knowledge in both PE and extracurricular sports originate from a variety of internal and external sources, portray games knowledge as both simple and complex, associate PE and extracurricular sports with different knowledge or learning processes, and differentiate their instructional strategies more in PE compared to their coaching practices. This research study has theoretical and practical implications for enhanced teaching and coaching practices, as well as teacher education and coach-training programs, with the ultimate aim of enriching students’ learning experiences in physical education and interscholastic sport.
  • Health Care Aides' Conversations with Families About End-Of-Life and Dementia

    Meisenburg, Natalie; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Background: Research has demonstrated that health professionals have a difficult time talking with family members of people with dementia about end-of-life and avoid these conversations. A palliative approach is appropriate for dementia and effective communication between healthcare providers and relatives is imperative in this approach. Research Question: How do health care aides (HCAs) in long-term care (LTC) homes experience discussions about death and dying with relatives of residents who have dementia? The aim of this descriptive qualitative study was to explore the experiences of health care aides’ (HCAs) and understand the conversations they have with family members when a resident in long-term care has dementia and is nearing end-of-life. Methods: This study was a descriptive qualitative study, with thematic analysis of interviews of 14 HCAs from 6 LTC homes in Ontario, Canada. Findings: There were four themes. Findings include conversations occur in-person and families initiate conversations. Conversations can be difficult and emotional and relationships with residents, families, fellow HCAs, and nurses, influence the conversations. Conversations occur in the context of written and unwritten rules and can make conversations difficult. Discussion: Conversations between HCAs and families occur, and HCAs respond to relatives’ questions. It is important to support HCAs and provide them with a clear understanding of responding to relatives’ questions.
  • “You’re on one side or the other. You’re either a Leafs fan or a Sabres fan”. An Interpretive Study of Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs Fans in Fort Erie, Ontario

    Sidani, Adnan; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Few sports consumer behavior researchers will contest that it is common for people to become fans of their local, hometown, easily-accessible team (Wann & James, 2019), but what if obvious-sounding concepts like “local”, “hometown”, and “accessible” are in dispute? What team would people cheer for then? Such an interesting case is found in the border town of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, that is located directly across the river from Buffalo, New York, USA. National Hockey League (NHL) fans in Fort Erie typically cheer for either the Buffalo Sabres (whose arena is visible from Fort Erie’s shoreline), or the Toronto Maple Leafs, who play in a Canadian city 95 miles (152 km) away. To understand how they became fans and maintain that fandom, nine Sabres fans and nine Leafs fans from Fort Erie were interviewed face-to-face and one-on-one in the interpretive tradition. Fans from both teams painted a picture that in both becoming fans and maintaining fandom, the culture and image associated with not only the teams themselves, but also the city and country they play out of were crucial factors. Leafs fans often referred to hockey’s cultural importance to Canadians, making it almost traitorous to cheer for an American NHL team. Sabres fans often referred to the scrappy, working-class image of Buffalo aligning with the scrappy, working-class image of Fort Erie. Sabres fans would also discuss how accessible the team was, in terms of both proximity and cheaper tickets, allowing them to easily attend games. Leafs fans would also discuss how accessible their team was, but in terms of media access, allowing them to watch almost all Leafs’ games on television. Interestingly, their attitude towards Americans aligned with their team choice. Helleiner (2016) studied Canadians who live across the border from Buffalo, and found four attitudes towards the difference between Canadians and Americans: Pretty much the same as Americans, “Americanized” Canadians, Non-Americans, and Anti-Americans. Sabres fans typically were in the first two categories, and Leafs fans typically were in the latter two. In conclusion, Leafs fans (filled with non-American sentiment) felt that even though Buffalo was right next door, the Leafs would be considered the local, hometown, accessible team as the Sabres played in a foreign country, the Leafs were the closest Canadian NHL team to Fort Erie, and all their games were typically televised in Fort Erie. Sabres fans (more sympathetic to Americans overall) considered them the local, hometown, accessible team as they were right across a bridge, the team and the city aligned with the blue-collar image of Fort Erie, and live attendance was extremely easy. Borderland living is different than living inland (Helleiner, 2016), so it comes as no surprise that borderland sport fandom would be different. Future research should study how fans living in regions like Southwestern Ontario (across from Detroit, Michigan), or Western New York (close to Toronto, Ontario) create and maintain their fandom where terms like “local”, “hometown”, and “accessible” are influenced by perceptions of culture and image moderated by questions of national identity.
  • A Canadian Perspective on the ‘NCLEX-RN World’: Pragmatism When the Stakes are High

    Podwinski, Kerri Ann; Applied Health Sciences Program
    According to the Ontario nursing regulatory body, the American-designed high stakes nursing licensure examination, the NCLEX-RN, is a valid measure to assess the Canadian entry-to-practice competencies requisite of each new graduate registered nurse. This examination is used to “…ensure that it grants registration only to those who demonstrate the nursing knowledge to provide safe care” (para. 1). However, limited research exists that explores, examines and evaluates the impact of the NCLEX-RN in Canada since adoption from the United States of America in January 2015. Particularly, no studies existed that explored the experiences and perceptions of practicing Registered Nurses (RNs) who have written the NCLEX-RN, outside of the first-year test-takers. This thesis document describes the findings of a collective case study to better understand the NCLEX-RN, as experienced by six Canadian RNs from both acute and non-acute healthcare environments in Ontario, Canada. A within-case, document, and cross-case thematic analysis was used. The participants described their experiences with, and perceptions about, the NCLEX-RN within four main themes – influencing preparedness; examining the Canadian RN; becoming ready for safe practice; and reflecting as a practicing RN. The findings of this study support existing literature that a lack of content reflective of Canadian healthcare values exists in the NCLEX-RN. The educational impact and consequences of high stakes testing such as, curricular molding to external evaluation and concerns related to exam validity, are also highlighted. Presently, Canadian nurse educators and future test-takers must approach the NCLEX-RN pragmatically to ensure licensure of graduates with minimal disruption to the Canadian baccalaureate nursing education.
  • Decisions, Decisions … Understanding the Brand Associations Attached to U Sports Hockey: A Means-End Analysis of U Sports Hockey Players Who Transferred from The NCAA

    Medeiros, Sean; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is often considered the pinnacle of colligate sports, drawing athletes from around the world to compete at one of its 1,281 institutions. Of the thousands of athletes imported to the NCAA each year, Canada who themselves bolster comprehensive colligate sport organizations (U Sports), experience the greatest exodus of athletes. While there is still a tremendous number of Canadian athletes heading to the NCAA, statistics have shown that many of these athletes return to Canada after at least one year since the recent adjustments to U Sports policy. As these student athletes begin to return to Canada at a rapidly growing rate, an opportunity to explore their unique brand perceptions has emerged. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of brand associations on student athletes school choice selection as they return to Canada. Brand associations can be characterized as the attributes, benefits and personal values that consumers attach to a product or service to help develop their perception of it. To investigate the current study, 12 interviews were conducted using a laddering interview technique. Findings indicate that there a complex web of six attributes, nine benefits, and five personal values that are the most influential in student athlete school choice selection. Some of these include: location, coach, academics, comfort, relationship, family, achievement, safety and belonging. The intricate relationship that exists amongst these attributes, benefits and personal values is discussed in detail, and recommendations for industry practitioners is suggested.
  • Increasing father involvement in the care of their infant using text messages: The DadRocks study

    Flynn-Bowman, Allison; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Studies have shown that interventions aimed at the transition to fatherhood can have benefits to fathers. Yet there are few studies specifically designed for fathers at their transition to parenthood, despite fathers having asked for resources specifically tailored for them. DadRocks is a minimalist (i.e., low-cost) intervention that uses text messages to address fathers as they transition to fatherhood. DadRocks has been successfully piloted with Vietnamese fathers, but not in a Western sample of fathers. In our pilot of DadRocks with Canadian fathers, SMS messages were sent to seventeen fathers 3-5 times a week. Messages provided developmentally appropriate information such as games to play with their infants, milestones to observe and links to credible websites for information. Fathers who had more positive attitudes towards father-infant relationship reported significantly more father-infant interaction. Father-infant interaction, especially play, increased between baseline, three months and six months. Fathers who reported more engagement with the messages had significantly more positive attitude and more affectionate behavior. First-time fathers felt most supported by the texts. Fathers with greater anxiety also reported using more recommended resources. Fathers generally liked the intervention, and provided suggestions for future messages. Our pilot data support the development of a more comprehensive experimental study of DadRocks. with a large community sample that could help determine the extent to which this low-cost intervention can improve father-infant relationships. Overall, our data suggest that text messages may be a lost-cost way to communicate with fathers in ways that promote and support positive paternal care.
  • Exploring leadership efficacy and locus of control of sport management undergraduate students: A qualitative case study

    King, Adam; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Leadership efficacy is “a specific form of efficacy associated with the level of confidence in the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with leading others” (p. 669). Researchers suggest that a student’s level of leadership efficacy (LE) may impact one’s decision-making, willingness to undertake leadership roles, and one’s subsequent affinity to seek out and obtain a managerial/leadership position upon graduation. One’s lower levels of LE may result in prematurely eliminating certain career options and/or developing self-limiting behaviours— and for female students in particular. Drawing on Bandura’s (1977) sources of efficacy information and Rotter’s (1966) Internal-External scale, the two purposes of this study were first, to explore sport management undergraduate students’ perceived leadership efficacy (LE) and locus of control (LOC); and second, to explore the relationship between these students’ LE and LOC. An instrumental case study research design was employed where the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with sport management students. By exploring the perceived LE and LOC of these students, insight was gleaned into how students manifest such beliefs and how they may impact students’ academic journey and subsequent entrance into the competitive sport industry.
  • A Study of NHL Fan Identification in Red Deer, Alberta

    Cipywnyk, Blair; Applied Health Sciences Program
    While there are many reasons sport fans choose to follow one team over another, geography is typically a major one, as people often follow their hometown team, or the team that is the closest (Rooney, 1974; 1975; Wann, 2006). However, limited academic attention has been given to situations where geographic proximity is likely to have little to no influence in the development of sport fan identification, and how individuals choose teams instead. The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand how hockey fans chose their favourite team when two teams in two different cities are an equal distance away, and how they would maintain that fandom in the presence of the other team’s fans. Participants were recruited in Red Deer, Alberta, a city that is 84 miles or 135.2 km from both Edmonton and Calgary. Using Rooney’s (1974; 1975) spheres of influence for sport teams, Red Deer falls equally within the sphere for both teams. As a result of the equi-distance, however, it was assumed geographic proximity likely has little influence on fandom formation in Red Deer. Further, the constant threat of the rival group being in close proximity raises questions for how fans in Red Deer maintain their team fandom. A total of 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with highly identified fans of the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames that were also lifelong residents of Red Deer. Geographic proximity proved to play no role, while family influence, team success, rebellious nature, and place attachment proved major factors in how fans in Red Deer choose between these two teams. Further, because the Oilers and Flames are traditional rivals dating back to the 1980s (Spector, 2015), and with Red Deer being caught in the middle, an assumption was made that rivalry would play a large role in fandom maintenance. However, that was not the case. Not only did rivalry not factor in fandom maintenance, but the rivalry was also seen as dead or dying by participants. Directions for future research and recommendations are presented and discussed.
  • Examining Physical Activity in Natural Outdoor Environments on Markers of Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis

    Kelley, Caitlin; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis of the published scientific literature pertaining to the relationship between physical activity (PA) in the natural outdoor environment (NOE) and well-being (WB). Of studies included in the primary analysis (N = 19), several studies (n = 5) were retained for secondary analysis to determine whether differences on WB exist between PA in the NOE with an indoor comparator group. The overall effect size for the primary analysis was moderate (d = .49). The largest effect of PA in the NOE was observed for positive affect (d = .56). Results from the secondary analysis indicated PA in the NOE was greater in the NOE (d = .53, 95% CI = .28, .78; p < 0.001) compared to indoors (d = .28, 95% CI = .04, .51, p = 0.02) however this finding was not statistically significant between environment types (p = 0.15). There was significant heterogeneity in the primary analysis of PA in the NOE only (Q = 68.72, p < 0.001). Results of the moderator analyses of PA (p = 0.06), sample (p = 0.34) and study (p = 0.13) characteristics did not reach conventional levels of statistical significance. Results of the subgroup analyses indicated that there were significant findings within but not between subgroups for NOE type (p = 0.37), PA type (p = 0.47) and PA intensity (p = 0.55). In conclusion, while PA in the NOE was associated with higher WB, there was limited evidence to support that PA in the NOE allots superior benefits to PA engaged in an indoor environment. Future investigations are encouraged to include study designs that measure markers of WB at multiple time points, consider the eudaimonic tradition of WB, include diverse NOE types such as blue space and include an indoor comparison. Practical implications of the findings of this research include the potential for stakeholders to incorporate findings into future nature-based solutions that address societal challenges like increasing WB.
  • The Effects of Motivational and Instructional Self-Talk on Cross-Training Exercise Performance

    Sampson, Jack; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Self-talk is a multi-dimensional construct comprised of self-statements that provide instruction, or motivation, for successful task completion. Instructional self-talk has been shown to be more effective during precision tasks, and motivational self-talk has been shown to be more effective during gross motor and exercise tasks. The effects of self-talk on task performance have not been explored through a combination of endurance and precision exercise, or cross-training. The purpose of the present study was to analyze the effectiveness of instructional and motivational self-talk during a cross-training exercise task of running and overhead squatting. 30 participants were evenly divided into three groups (i.e., control, motivational, and instructional), and were examined across three exercise trials. Two 3 x 3 factorial ANOVAs comparing exercise time and mechanical score revealed no significant differences between groups across exercise trials. The results of the present study provide a potential starting point for future self-talk studies analyzing the combination of exercise tasks.
  • Guiding Graduate Student Professional Development: Progress, Pathways and Plans

    Perry, Karin; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The skills imperative has signaled the emergence of co-curricular professional development programming and the establishment of a new subsector in graduate education. In an effort to support the transition from academia to post-graduate work for students enrolled in research-intensive pathways, professional development offices have devised various educational methods, tools and guides to introduce students to a roster of professional learning opportunities and pathways. The aim of this research project was to understand how the skills imperative has been characterized in three distinctly different graduate student guides devised by selected GSPD offices. Through a comprehensive process of document analysis, eight socio-narrative themes were discovered as pedagogical, ideological and dialogical tensions. Proposed practices and socio-narrative criteria were developed as application for fostering professional development programmatic fidelity.
  • Who is on the Team? Exploring a Person-Centred Care Approach on an Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team, from the Healthcare Provider's Perspective

    Fucile, Bianca; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding from the perspective of healthcare providers how person-centre care ideologies are translated into day-to-day practice at an oncology center. This was a single case study, conducted at a local Oncology Center. The study included 15 interviews with healthcare providers, the analysis of 15 documents, and the keeping of a reflexive research journal. Four themes and ten sub-themes were found to represent the experiences of healthcare providers: (1) Educating with Empathy (2) Informed Personal Advocate, (3) Being the “Rock”, and (4) Progressing as a Team. This study demonstrates the roles of healthcare providers, patients and caregivers on a healthcare team committed to delivering person-centred care. It also introduces a new kind of team, a person-centred care team along with complimentary guiding principles to inform the practices of healthcare providers. This study contributes to the shift in the culture of care in oncology, where patients and caregivers are welcomed onto their healthcare team.
  • Breaking down barriers: An analysis of pre-service health and physical education teachers’ beliefs and preparation for working with LGBTQ students

    McCaughey, Colin; Applied Health Sciences Program
    In this research, I investigate the values, beliefs and preconceived notions teachers of health & physical education (H&PE) possess as they educate LGBTQ students. H&PE teachers hold a significant responsibility to create safe spaces for LGBTQ students, as PE and sport are contexts in whch LGBTQ students feel especially vulnerable, due to the pervasive cultures of hyper-masculinity and conservatism (Linghede & Larsson, 2017). Yet, little is known about how these teachers are prepared to work with LGBTQ students. In response, my research provides an opportunity for pre-service H&PE teachers to describe their feelings of preparedness and their values, beliefs and preconceived notions to working with this population. Information gathering and analysis was accomplished through a qualitative methodology. Four pre-service H&PE teachers where recruited to partake in three semi-structured interviews utilizing a past, present and future structure. Through this process, three main findings were generated. First, this group of pre-service H&PE teachers possessed varying beliefs in working with LGBTQ students. Secondly, many of the participants articulated a commitment to inclusionary practices. Third, the participants believe that their formal university experiences have not prepared them to teach issues relating to gender and sexuality. As such, participants have taken it upon themselves to learn effective strategies through their own research and personal experiences. Implications for school H&PE, teacher development and future avenues of research are discussed in light of these findings.
  • Mindfully Making Our Way in the World: The Exploration of Mindfulness Among Post-Secondary Students

    Kerridge, Kaitlyn; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Abstract Students across North America are facing new challenges due to the competitive economic climate, increased debt from student loans, and infinite access to technology. The practice of mindfulness shows great promise as an intervention to aid young people to cope with the daily challenges of student life. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore mindfulness among post-secondary students. The major research question guiding this inquiry was What is the meaning of mindfulness among post-secondary students? The design of the study followed a narrative methodology. Data consisted of interview transcripts and journal entries. Six participants were interviewed in the first round and three were selected for a second storytelling interview. Data were analyzed using qualitative thematic techniques and followed narrative principles of re-storying. The central finding of the study is that mindfulness is experiential and comprised of three core elements: the practice, the journey and the impact. Analysis highlighted a) the journey is extremely unique, includes some kind of pivotal moment, and is transformative in nature on the individual’s life, b) the practice can be divided into two types of mindfulness: “state mindfulness” or “situational mindfulness” and, c) mindfulness has a positive impact on mental health, perspective, and happiness. Findings suggest post-secondary students who adopt a mindfulness practice find purpose and meaning in their lives and have positive mental health. Building on this study, future research should continue to collect rich qualitative data on the lived experience of students in order to empower them and give meaning to their experience. This research can be used to inform the development of curriculum and programing and community health interventions.
  • A Week in the Life of Community Programs: Describing Barriers Experienced by Three Transition Age Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Caregivers

    Toms, Demi; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Various barriers for participating in physical activity for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been identified; specifically, the insufficient availability of programs and knowledgeable personnel to run them (Taub & Greer, 2000; WHO, 2015). Ironically, there are a magnitude of proven benefits specific to ASD that accrue from being physically active, including a decrease in stereotypic behaviours (hand flapping, object spinning) and sleep deprivation (Taud & Greer, 2002; Todd & Reid, 2006; Gaskin, Anderson & Morris, 2009; Connolly, 2008). Previous research has focused on investigating barriers for individuals experiencing disability in relation to environment, economic and political components (McDermott & Turk, 2011). However, minimal research involves the perspective of the individuals experiencing ASD who do not use verbal communication and require greater supports. The purpose of this phenomenological study was twofold. Firstly, to unearth barriers experienced by three transition aged youth with Autism who require 1:1 support or greater and their caregivers in a ‘typical week’. Secondly, to examine whether Priestley’s (1997) 6 principles of emancipatory research could be applied to this research process. In the process of engaging with the three youth participants and their caregivers in this study, I completed multiple observations of the youth participants in community programs and activities, then conducted semi-structured interviews with their caregivers, and non-traditional, alternative communication interviews with the youth participants. Analysis revealed that implementing Priestley’s 6 principles of emancipatory research could not be applied to this research process because of controversies with the ethics board. As well, barriers to participation in community programs included lack of staff training and inability to adapt to individual needs. The findings of this study imply a greater need for rapport based and embedded research with individuals experiencing complex ASD. Similarly, Research Ethics Boards need a greater understanding of individuals who do not use words to communicate to enable researchers to pursue authentic emancipatory research with complex and typically, under-represented participants.
  • A Phenomenological Analysis of Chronic Pain Self-Management

    Richmond, Rachel; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Self-management is a poorly understood concept from both the academic and patient perspectives. Within the literature it is known as a vague concept which is often mistaken for other terms such as self-care and self-help. The ambiguity surrounding self-management in academia is then transferred to patients through their physicians. Living with a debilitating, invisible condition, such as chronic pain, can force patients to self-manage their conditions. This study set out to not only to define this concept and those related to it, but also to understand the meanings persons with chronic pain ascribe to their self-management. A literature search as well as qualitative interviews were conducted to explore, with more depth, the meanings that participants associate with the phenomenon of self-managing their chronic pain. Five themes emerged from the analysis of interviews: Doctors, Getting Through the Day, Being Limited, My Hidden Burden, and What’s Next. Chronic pain proved to be a controlling factor in the lives and decisions of all participants. Overall the self-management behaviours that participants found the most useful, other than medication, were relaxing behaviours that reminded them of their childhood and families.

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