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Effects of digital-based interventions on muscular strength in adults : a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials with quality of evidence assessment
Armin Paravlić, Luka Šlosar, Ensar Abazović, Uroš Marušič, 2023, review article

Abstract: Background: In the last three decades, both medical and sports science professionals have recognized the considerable potential of digital-based interventions (DBI) to enhance the health-related outcomes of their practitioners.Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and potential moderators of DBI on measures of muscular strength.Methods: Six databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, SportDiscus, Embase, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials and Google Scholar) were searched for eligible studies up to June 2022. The GRADE, PEDRO, and TIDieR checklists were used to assess the quality of evidence, methodology, and completeness of intervention descriptions, respectively.Results: A total of 56 studies were included in the meta-analysis (n = 2346), and participants were classified as healthy (n = 918), stroke survivors (n = 572), diagnosed with other neurological disorders (n = 683), and frail (n = 173). The DBI showed a small effect (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.28, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.31; p < 0.001) on strength, regardless of the type of intervention, control group, or tested body part. More specifically, while splitting the studies into different subgroups, a meta-analysis of 19 studies (n = 918) showed a small effect (SMD = 0.38, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.63; p = 0.003) on strength in the asymptomatic population. Similarly, small but positive effects of DBI were observed for stroke survivors (SMD = 0.34, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.56; p = 0.002), patients diagnosed with other neurological disorders (SMD = 0.17, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.32; p = 0.021), and the frail population (SMD = 0.25, 95% CI 0.0 to 0.5; p = 0.051). Sub-group analysis and meta-regression revealed that neither variable modified the effects of the DBI on measures of strength.Conclusions: Overall, DBI may serve as an effective method to improve measures of strength in adults, regardless of their health status as well as the type of digital device, the presence of human-computer interaction, and the age of participants. In addition, the DBI was found to be more effective than traditional training or rehabilitation methods.
Keywords: cognitive training, physical function, strength, neurodegenerative disorders, older adults
Published in DiRROS: 07.08.2023; Views: 197; Downloads: 97
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Higher neural demands on stimulus processing after prolonged hospitalization can be mitigated by a cognitively stimulating environment
Uroš Marušič, Rado Pišot, Voyko Kavcic, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Prolonge d periods of complete physical inactivity or bed rest trigger various alterations in the functional and metabolic levels of the human body. However, bed rest-related adaptations of the central nervous system are less known and thoroughly studied. The aim of this study was to investigate brain electrophysiological changes using event-related potentials (ERPs) after 14 days of bed rest and 12 consecutive sessions of computerized cognitive training (CCT). Sixteen older (Mage= 60 years) healthy volunteers were randomly divided into a CCT treatment group and an active control group. All participants performed ERP measurements based on the foveal visual presentation of a circle on a black background before and after bed rest. After 14 days of bed rest, participants in the control group showed increased peak P1 amplitude (p = .012), decreased P1 latency (p = .024), and increased P2 amplitude (p = .036), while the CCT group also showed decreased P1 latency (p = .023) and decreased P2 latency (p = .049). Our results suggest that, even from a central adaptation perspective, prolonged periods of physical inactivity or bed rest trigger additional neural recruitment and should therefore be minimized, and that CCT may serve as a tool to mitigate this. Future research should focus on other aspects of central nervous system adaptation following periods of immobilization/hospitalization to improve our knowledge of infl uence of physical inactivity and its eff ects on cortical activity and to develop appropriate countermeasures to mitigate functional dysregulation.
Keywords: aging, physical inactivity, immobilization, electroencephalography, EEG, computerized cognitive training
Published in DiRROS: 13.05.2021; Views: 961; Downloads: 752
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Additional exergames to regular tennis training improves cognitive-motor functions of children but may temporarily affect tennis technique : a single-blind randomized controlled trial
Luka Šlosar, Eling D. de Bruin, Eduardo Bodnariuc Fontes, Matej Plevnik, Rado Pišot, Boštjan Šimunič, Uroš Marušič, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of an exergame program (TennisVirtua-4, Playstation Kinect) combined with traditional tennis training on autonomic regulation, tennis technique, gross motor skills, clinical reaction time, and cognitive inhibitory control in children. Sixty-three children were randomized into four groups (1st % two exergame and two regular trainings sessions/week, 2nd % one exergame and one regular training sessions/week, 3rd % two regular trainings sessions/week, and 4th % one regular training session/week) and compared at baseline, 6-month immediately post intervention and at 1-year follow-up post intervention. At 6-month post intervention the combined exergame and regular training sessions revealed: higher breathing frequency, heart rate (all ps % 0.001) and lower skin conductance levels (p = 0.001) during exergaming; additional benefits in the point of contact and kinetic chain elements of the tennis forehand and backhand technique (all ps % 0.001); negative impact on the shot preparation and the follow-through elements (all ps % 0.017); higher ball skills (as part of the gross motor skills) (p < 0.001); higher percentages of clinical reaction time improvement (1st %9.7% vs 3rd group %7.4% and 2nd %6.6% vs 4th group %4.4%, all ps % 0.003) and cognitive inhibitory control improvement in both congruent (1st %20.5% vs 3rd group %18.4% and 2nd %11.5% vs 4th group %9.6%, all ps % 0.05) and incongruent (1st group %19.1% vs 3rd group %12.5% and 2nd group %11.4% vs 4th group %6.5%, all ps % 0.001) trials. The 1-year follow-up test showed no differences in the tennis technique, clinical reaction time and cognitive inhibitory control improvement between groups with the same number of trainings per week. The findings support exergaming as an additional training tool, aimed to improve important cognitive-motor tennis skills by adding dynamics to the standardized training process. Caution should be placed to planning this training, e.g., in a mesocycle, since exergaming might decrease the improvement of specific tennis technique parts of the trainees. (; ID: NCT03946436).
Keywords: tennis, training, performance, children, motor learning, cognitive learning, teaching, strategies
Published in DiRROS: 17.03.2021; Views: 1046; Downloads: 881
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