Publications by authors named "Eugenio Merellano-Navarro"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effects of Dog-Assisted Education on Physical and Communicative Skills in Children with Severe and Multiple Disabilities: A Pilot Study.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Jun 10;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Animal-Assisted Intervention Office, King Juan Carlos University, Móstoles, 28933 Madrid, Spain.

Animal-assisted interventions have shown promising benefits in different populations such as children with cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorder. Human-animal interaction leads to different physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits in the child. The aim of the current pilot study was to evaluate the effects of a dog-assisted education program on the postural, oculomotor, linguistic and autonomy dimensions in children affected by severe and multiple disabilities. Fourteen children aged 3-12 years and affected by intellectual and physical disabilities participated in a dog-assisted program consisted of 12 sessions. The intervention involved different types of activities, exercises, and games with the dogs. A strict protocol to ensure animal wellbeing and avoid any type of stress or fatigue was followed. Children who participated in the study improved their postural control, eye-motor coordination, expression of sensations and feelings, spontaneous interaction, autonomy, and confidence. However, these results must be taken with caution due to the lack of a control group and the heterogeneity of the participants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11061741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230480PMC
June 2021

Zumba, Fat Mass and Maximum Oxygen Consumption: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 25;18(1). Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Health, Economy, Motricity and Education Research Group, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain.

Background And Objectives: Obesity or overweight is associated with many health risk factors and preventable mortality. Even people with normal weight and without history of obesity or overweight should avoid weight gain to reduce health risks factors. In this regard Latin aerobic dances involved in Zumba practice make this modality motivating for people. Apart from weight loss and VO2 benefits, Zumba practice is also interesting by the increase in adherence which can also avoid weight regain. The aim was to systematically review the scientific literature about the effects of any randomized intervention of Zumba practice on total fat mass (%) and maximum oxygen consumption (VO), besides establishing directions for the clinical practice.

Evidence Acquisition: Two systematic searches were conducted in two electronic databases following the PRISMA guidelines. The eligibility criteria were (a) outcomes: body mass or VO data including mean and standard deviation (SD) before and after Zumba intervention, (b) study design: randomized controlled trial (RCT) and (c) language: English. GRADE guidelines were used to assess the quality of evidence. A meta-analysis was performed to determine mean differences. Nine and four studies were selected for fat mass percentage and VO in the systematic review, respectively. However, only eight studies for fat mass percentage and three for VO could be included in the meta-analysis.

Evidence Synthesis: The overall standardized mean difference for fat mass was -0.25 with a 95% CI from -0.67 to 0.16 with a p-value of 0.69, with large heterogeneity. On the other hand, the overall effect size for VO was 0.53 (95% CI from 0.04 to 1.02 with a p-value of 0.03) with large heterogeneity.

Conclusions: Based on the evidence, we cannot conclude that Zumba is effective at reducing body mass but it may improve VO. However, the limited number of studies that met the inclusion criteria makes it too early to reach a definite conclusion, so more research is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794937PMC
December 2020

Effect of Acute Caffeine Intake on the Fat Oxidation Rate during Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Nutrients 2020 Nov 24;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28043 Fuenlabrada, Spain.

A number of previous investigations have been designed to determine the effect of acute caffeine intake on the rate of fat oxidation during exercise. However, these investigations have shown contradictory results due to the differences in the exercise protocols used or the co-ingestion of caffeine with other substances. Hence, to date, there is no consensus about the effect of caffeine on fat oxidation during exercise. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review followed by a meta-analysis to establish the effect of acute intake of caffeine (ranging from 2 to 7 mg/kg of body mass) on the rate of fat oxidation during exercise. A total of 19 studies published between 1978 and 2020 were included, all of which employed crossover experimental designs in which the ingestion of caffeine was compared to a placebo. Studies were selected if the exercise intensity was consistent in the caffeine and placebo trials and if these were preceded by a fasting protocol. A subsequent meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model to calculate the standardized mean difference (SMD). The meta-analysis revealed that caffeine significantly ( = 0.008) increased the fat oxidation rate (SMD = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.19 to 1.27). This increment was consistent with a significant ( = 0.04) reduction of the respiratory exchange ratio (SMD = -0.33; 95% CI = -0.65 to -0.01) and a significant ( = 0.049) increase in the oxygen uptake (SMD = 0.23; 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.44). The results also showed that there was a dose-response effect of caffeine on the fat oxidation rate, indicating that more than 3.0 mg/kg is necessary to obtain a statistically significant effect of this stimulant on fat oxidation during exercise. Additionally, the ability of caffeine to enhance fat oxidation during exercise was higher in sedentary or untrained individuals than in trained and recreational athletes. In conclusion, pre-exercise intake of a moderate dose of caffeine may effectively increase fat utilization during aerobic exercise of submaximal intensity performed after a fasting period. However, the fitness level of the participant may modulate the magnitude of the effect of caffeine on fat oxidation during exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12123603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760526PMC
November 2020

Effects of Dog-Based Animal-Assisted Interventions in Prison Population: A Systematic Review.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Nov 16;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Physical Activity and Quality of Life Research Group (AFYCAV), Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, 10004 Cáceres, Spain.

Background: Animal-assisted interventions, in concrete dog-assisted intervention, have been introduced in prisons to reduce recidivism as well as to improve the well-being of prisoners. Therefore, the aim of the present systematic review is to provide an up-to-date analysis of the research on the effects of dog-based animal-assisted therapy in prison population.

Methods: An electronic search of the literature was performed, and 20 articles were included. The PRISMA guideline methodology was employed.

Results: Included studies involved a total of 1577 participants. The vast majority of protocols included activities related with dog training, dog caring, or activities, which included vocational or educational components. Duration of dog-based therapies ranged between 60 and 120 min, with the frequency being between 1 and 3 days/week. Statistically significant improvements in prisoners were observed in 13 studies.

Conclusions: Dog-based animal-assisted therapy may improve anxiety, stress, recidivism, and other social variables in male or female inmates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10112129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697666PMC
November 2020

[Influence of physical activity during outbreak on psychological states in adults in the Covid-19 pandemic: a study protocol.]

Rev Esp Salud Publica 2020 Jun 12;94. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Centro Universitario Regional Noreste. Universidad de la República. Rivera. Uruguay.

This coronavirus pandemic has placed unprecedented restrictions on people's physical activity and routines. Prolonged home stays may lead to fear, panic, anxiety, and depression states, which in turn, can drive to a reduction of active lifestyles. Hence, determining the psychological response in the general population, and the influence level of home-based physical activity development could be relevant during this exceptional Covid-19 disease quarantine period. A multicenter, cross-sectional, and observational study design will be conducted in 12 Iberoamerican countries expecting to enroll 3,096 participants, through a snowball sampling technique. The study started on March 15th, 2020, and it is expected to be completed in August 2020 through online survey that will include demographic data, health status, psychological impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, mental health status, and level of physical activity. This study will be conducted following the principles established by the protocol, the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Ethical Guidelines for Clinical Research. Data from the study will be disseminated in manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals as well as in abstracts for submission to relevant conferences. Trial registration number: NCT04352517, pre-results.
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June 2020

Effects of Ashwagandha () on VO: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Nutrients 2020 Apr 17;12(4). Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, Fuenlabrada, 28943 Madrid, Spain.

The purpose of this study was to systematically review the scientific literature about the effects of supplementation with Ashwagandha () on maximum oxygen consumption (VO), as well as to provide directions for clinical practice. A systematic search was conducted in three electronic databases following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Guidelines (PRISMA). The inclusion criteria were: (a) VO data, with means ± standard deviation before and after the supplement intervention, (b) the study was randomized controlled trial (RCT), (c) the article was written in English. The quality of evidence was evaluated according to the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. A meta-analysis was performed to determine effect sizes. Five studies were selected in the systematic review (162 participants) and four were included in the meta-analysis (142 participants). Results showed a significant enhancement in VO in healthy adults and athletes ( = 0.04). The mean difference was 3.00 (95% CI from 0.18 to 5.82) with high heterogeneity. In conclusion, Ashwagandha supplementation might improve the VO in athlete and non-athlete people. However, further research is need to confirm this hypothesis since the number of studies is limited and the heterogeneity was high.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12041119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230697PMC
April 2020

Physical Exercise Improves Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review.

Curr Diab Rep 2017 Sep 23;17(11):110. Epub 2017 Sep 23.

Faculty of Sport Science, University of Extremadura, Av. De Universidad s/n, 10003, Caceres, Spain.

Purpose Of Review: The aim of the present systematic review is to provide an up-to-date analysis of the research on the effects of exercise programs on heart rate variability (HRV) in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). An electronic search of the literature (PubMed, PEDro and Web of Science) was performed. "HRV", "heart rate variability", "exercise", "physical" and "diabetes" were the terms used for article retrieval. Lastly, 15 articles were selected. PRISMA methodology was employed and data were extracted according to the PICOS approach.

Recent Findings: Although HRV is not routinely measured in the management of T2DM, it is an important measure due to its relation with mortality and diabetic neuropathy. Physical exercise has become a therapy for T2DM, because it improves physical fitness and functional capacity, enhances metabolic control and insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammatory markers and neuropathy symptoms and can increase the regenerative capacity of cutaneous axons, slowing or preventing neuropathy progression. However, it is not clear to what extent physical exercise can improve HRV in this population. Participation in the 15 selected studies was similar in men and women (48.01% men and 51.99% women). All the intervention programs included aerobic training, and it was complemented by strength training in four studies. Duration of physical exercise sessions ranged between 30 and 75 min, the frequency being between 2 and 7 days/week. Statistically significant improvements in groups with diabetes, relative to baseline, were observed in nine studies. More than 3 days per week of aerobic training, complemented by strength training, during at least 3 months seems to improve HRV in T2DM. Weekly frequency might be the most important factor to improve HRV. These aspects could help to design better programs based in scientific evidence, incorporating HRV as an important variable associated with diabetic neuropathy and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11892-017-0941-9DOI Listing
September 2017

A Cross-sectional Assessment of Health-related Quality of Life among Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Iran J Public Health 2017 Aug;46(8):1046-1053

Instituto de Actividad Fisica y Salud, Universidad Autonoma de Chile, Talca, Chile.

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of mortality characterized by progressive airflow obstruction and inflammation in the airways, which has an impact on health-related quality of life. The EQ-5D-5L is one of the most used preference-based, health-related quality of life questionnaire. The objective of this study was to provide normative values of EQ-5D-5L for Spanish people suffering from COPD.

Methods: Data were extracted from the Spanish National Health Survey (2011/2012). Overall, 1130 people with COPD participated in this survey. The utility index of EQ-5D-5L and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score were defined by gender, region, and age.

Results: Mean (SD) EQ-5D-5L utility index and VAS score for Spanish people with COPD were 0.742 (0.309) and 60.466 (21.934) respectively. In general, men reported better health status than women. Ceiling effect of the whole sample was 30.35%.

Conclusion: The current study provides normative values of EQ-5D-5L for Spanish people affected by COPD. Ceiling effect was high and better results were observed in men compared with women.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575383PMC
August 2017

Criterion-Referenced Fitness Standards Associated with Maintaining Functional Capacity in Chilean Older Adults.

Rejuvenation Res 2017 Dec 30;20(6):484-491. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

5 Institute of Physical Activity and Health, Universidad Autónoma de Chile , Talca, Chile .

The aim of the current study was to develop fitness standards associated with maintaining physical capacity in older adults at two different levels-that needed for advanced functioning and that needed for maintaining moderate (independent) functional ability. This was a cross-sectional study of 406 Chilean adults aged 60 and more. Functional capacity was measured through the Composite Physical Function (CPF) scale. A battery of validated fitness tests for this population was used. Based on the results of the CPF, two variables were created: "advanced physical capacity" (defined as those scoring 24 on the CPF scale) and "moderate (independent) physical capacity," defined as those scoring between 14 and 23 on the CPF scale. Fitness cut-off values were calculated for each of the two created variables to evaluate the risk of losing the independence through Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves analysis and logistic regression. The developed cut-off points provide important information for professionals working directly with older adults, to detect the risk of losing functionality and independence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/rej.2016.1913DOI Listing
December 2017

Validity of the International Fitness Scale "IFIS" in older adults.

Exp Gerontol 2017 09 2;95:77-81. Epub 2017 May 2.

Instituto Superior de Educación Física, Universidad de la Republica, Centro Universitario de Rivera, Ituzaingó 667, Rivera, 40000, Uruguay; Instituto de Actividad Fisica y Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, 5 y Medio Norte 1670, Talca, Chile. Electronic address:

Objective: To validate the "International Fitness Scale" (IFIS) in older adults.

Methods: Firstly, cognitive interviews were performed to ensure that the questionnaire was comprehensive for older Chilean adults. After that, a transversal study of 401 institutionalized and non-institutionalized older adults from Maule region in Chile was conducted. A battery of validated fitness tests for this population was used in order to compare the responses obtained in the IFIS with the objectively measured fitness performance (back scratch, chair sit-and-reach, handgrip, 30-s chair stand, timed up-and-go and 6-min walking).

Results: Indicated that IFIS presented a high compliance in the comprehension of the items which defined it, and it was able of categorizing older adults according to their measured physical fitness levels. The analysis of covariance ANCOVA adjusted by sex and age showed a concordance between IFIS and the score in physical fitness tests.

Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, IFIS questionnaire is a good alternative to assess physical fitness in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2017.05.001DOI Listing
September 2017

Exergames for women with fibromyalgia: a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effects on mobility skills, balance and fear of falling.

PeerJ 2017 20;5:e3211. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

Faculty of Sport Science, Departamento de Didáctica de la Expresión Musical, Plástica y Corporal, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.

Background: Exergames are a new form of rehabilitation that combine the characteristics of physical exercise and the benefits of non-immersive virtual reality (VR). Effects of this novel therapy in women fibromyalgia are still unknown. The objective was to evaluate the effects of exergame-based intervention on mobility skills, balance and fear of falling in women with fibromyalgia.

Methods: This study was a randomized controlled trial with concealed allocation. Seventy-six women with fibromyalgia were divided into two groups: the exercise group received an eight week intervention based on exergames, while the control group continued their usual activities. Mobility skills were evaluated using the timed up and go test, while balance was assessed using the functional reach test, and the CTSIB protocol. Fear of falling was evaluated on a scale of 0-100 (0, no fear; 100, extreme fear). Measurements were performed before and after the intervention. A repeated-measures linear mixed model was used to compare the effects of the intervention between the two groups.

Results: The exercise group was significantly quicker than the control group in the timed up and go test (MD, -0.71; 95% CI [-1.09-0.32];  < 0.001). There were also significant improvements in functional reach and a reduced fear of falling (MD, 4.34; 95% CI [1.39-7.30];  = 0.005 and MD, -9.85; 95% CI [-0.19--0.08];  = 0.048, respectively).

Discussion: The improved TUG observed herein was better than the smallest real difference. Based on the results on mobility skills, balance and fear of falling, exergames may be an effective tool as a therapy for women with fibromyalgia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401622PMC
April 2017

Reliability of the Timed Up and Go Test in Fibromyalgia.

Rehabil Nurs 2018 Jan/Feb;43(1):35-39

Purpose: The aim of the study was to evaluate the test-retest reliability of the timed up and go test using manual and automatic chronometer (chronopic) in women with fibromyalgia.

Design: Cross-sectional study with convenience sample.

Method: A total of 49 women with fibromyalgia, aged 50.20 ± 10.01 participated in the study.

Findings: The intraclass correlation coefficient was .935 with the manual stopwatch and .955 with the chronopic. The smallest real difference using manual stopwatch was 9.327%, whereas for the timed up and go using the chronopic it was 7.708%. Mean of the three repetitions was significantly different (p = .005) between both chronometers.

Conclusion: Timed up and go is a reliable physical fitness test for assessing agility/dynamic balance in women with fibromyalgia.

Clinical Relevance: The reliability is higher when the time is tracked using an automatic chronometer, which is easy to use and not expensive in terms of time and money, the use of this device is recommended in the nursing practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rnj.307DOI Listing
February 2018

[Translation and cultural adaptation of the Composite Physical Function for its use in Chile].

Rev Med Chil 2015 Oct;143(10):1314-9

Unlabelled: Aging is directly related with loss of physical independency. Composite Physical Function questionnaire (CPF) assess, throw 12 items, a range of daily life activities in order to determine dependency levels in elderly. However, there is not a Spanish version of this instrument.

Aim: To translate and culturally adapt the CPF to Spanish for its use in Chilean elderly.

Method: Standardized international methodology was used in this study, which consisted in double direct translation to Spanish, harmonization of versions and back-translation to English. Acceptability and familiarity of the obtained version was analyzed using probing and paraphrasing methods using a sample of 20 older adults aged from 65 to 80 years old.

Results: All items were clear and understandable, although minor adaptations needed to be done in order to improve the understandability of two items. These adaptations consisted in adding information in brackets at the end of the sentence.

Conclusion: Spanish version of the CPF questionnaire was obtained to its use in Chile. This questionnaire has been proved to be understandable and adapted to its use in Chilean older adults. Its ease of use makes this questionnaire potentially useful in future researches and surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872015001000010DOI Listing
October 2015

[ASSOCIATION BETWEEN HEALTH RELATED QUALITY OF LIFE, BODYWEIGHT STATUS (BMI) AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND FITNESS LEVELS IN CHILEAN ADOLESCENTS].

Nutr Hosp 2015 Oct 1;32(4):1695-702. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

Instituto de Actividad Física y Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile..

Aim: the objective of this study was to analyze the potential relationships between Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) with weight status, physical activity (PA) and fitness in Chilean adolescents in both, independent and combined analysis.

Method: a sample of 767 participants (47.5% females) and aged between 12 and 18 (mean age 15.5) was employed. All measurements were carried out using selfreported instruments and Kidscreen-10, iPAQ and IFIS were used to assess HRQoL, PA and Fitness respectively. One factor ANOVA and linear regression models were applied to analyze associations between HRQoL, weight status, PA and fitness using age and sex as confounders.

Results: body mass index, level of PA and fitness were independently associated with HRQoL in Chilean adolescents. However, the combined and adjusted by sex and age analysis of these associations showed that only the fitness was significantly related with HRQoL.

Conclusion: general fitness is associated with HRQoL independently of sex, age, bodyweight status and level of PA. The relationship between nutritional status and weekly PA with HRQoL are mediated by sex, age and general fitness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.32.4.9182DOI Listing
October 2015

[Waist-height ratio and risk of metabolic syndrome in Chilean adolescent].

Nutr Hosp 2015 Apr 1;31(4):1589-96. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Facultad de Educación, Universidad Autonoma de Chile, Chile..

Objectives: the aims of this study are twofold: i) to analyze the prevalence of risk of Metabolic Syndrome (MS) using the waist to height ratio (WHR) in a national representative sample of Chilean adolescents; and ii) to obtain percentile tables of WHR by sex and age for this population.

Methods: cross-sectional study with a sample of 23180 adolescents (boys n=11253; girls n=11927) from 13 to 16 years old. It was obtained anthropometric measures of height, weight and waist circumference. Risk of MS was calculated by the WHR with a cutoff of 0.5. Prevalence for risk of MS was calculated for all Chilean regions. Percentile table of WHR was calculated for this population.

Results: participants who had a WHR higher than 0.5 was 22.4%. This prevalence was higher in the most extreme regions (both north and south). Girls aged 15 and 16 showed higher WHR than boys. Results of this study shows higher values in WHR than published in previous international studies.

Conclusion: It has been calculated the risk of MS for Chilean adolescents using WHR and it is associated to sex and region. Additionally percentile tables of WHR for Chilean adolescents aged 13 to 16 have been calculated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.31.4.8535DOI Listing
April 2015
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