Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Study on reliability and validity of the ENERGY questionnaire published

The ENERGY-project is a European Commission funded cross-European project to gain more insight
in Energy Balance Related Behaviors (EBRB, i.e. specific eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviors that contribute to risk for overweight and obesity) and their potential behavioural determinants, and to inform and test a school-based and family-involved obesity prevention intervention scheme. As part of the ENERGY-project a crosssectional survey among more than 7000 children, their parents, and schools was conducted in seven countries representing different regions of Europe. This survey used questionnaires among children, parents, and school staff, as well as observations in the school and school environments. However, for the survey no established valid and reliable measures that could be administered in large populations of schoolchildren in different countries across Europe were available. Therefore, we developed a child and parent questionnaire to assess a range of EBRBs and potential individual and environmental behavioural determinants, and examined the test-retest reliability and construct validity of these two main questionnaires used in the ENERGY cross-sectional survey. The reliability study among children is now published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, with Dr. Amika Singh as the first author.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Self-care is an important aspect of heart failure (HF) management. Information on possible determinants of selfcare is needed for the development of self-care promotion interventions. HF self-care includes self-care management, self-care maintenance, sodium, fluid and alcohol intake restriction, physical activity, smoking cessation, monitoring signs and symptoms and keeping follow-up appointments. To assess the evidence regarding presumed determinants of HF self-care in order to make recommendations for interventions to promote self-care behavior among HF patients, a systematic literature review was conducted. This review is now published in the journal Heart Failure Reviews, with Rony Oosterum-Calo as first author. Twenty-six original scientific articles were included in the review. Results showed that  patients’ who were diagnosis with HF longer agi, i.e. with more experience with the disease, were more likley to performe self-care maintenance. Moreover, it was found that HF patients’ perceived benefits and barriers are related to their restriction of sodium intake, and that patients with type-D personality are less likely to consult medical professionals. All other evidence was inconsistent, mainly due to insufficient evidence or lack of studies. Interventions that aim to increase the performance of self-care maintenance can teach newly diagnosed patients the skills that are usually attained with experience acquired as a result of living with HF for a longer time. Perceived benefits and barriers of restricting sodium intake could be targeted in interventions for sodium intake reduction among HF patients. Finally, interventions for the promotion of adequate consulting of medical professionals can specifically target HF patients with a type-D personality.