In order to welcome Inger Abma based at the Radboud University Medical Center to the EuroFIT project, I asked her a few questions about her background, research interests and PhD. Here is what she reports:
I’m originally from Nijmegen, NL, studied biomedical sciences with a focus on Health Technology Assessment and a consultancy profile. I did my master’s internship at Imperial College London and ended up working and living there for 2.5 years. I worked on a qualitative research project about organizational and financial barriers and facilitators of the implementation of home haemodialysis in kidney care in the UK. Then I came back to The Netherlands to do a PhD and coincidentally ended up back in Nijmegen.
My PhD is about patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs – are questionnaires about a patient’s health status, completed by the patient) and how they can be used to improve healthcare. I developed and validated a PROM for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, and implemented it in the daily clinical practice of three sleep centres for my study. After a patient has completed the PROM, an overview with smileys becomes available for patients and healthcare professionals, showing how well the patient is doing with regard to the different aspects of apnea-related quality of life. The goal is to make patients better aware of which of their health complaints may be related to apnea, to increase the attention to quality of life during consultations, and to monitor a patient’s symptoms and problems. In the last study of my PhD, I interviewed patients and healthcare professionals about their experiences with and opinions of the PROM, and how implementation could be improved. I am currently writing up the last results of this study – and of course, I am now working on EuroFIT.
How does my PhD fit with EuroFIT: I am interested in the barriers and facilitators of the implementation of innovations.
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/inger-abma-83351540/
ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Inger_Abma?ev=hdr_xprf
As reported by Danielle Nicholson, Pintail Limited.
Dr Matthew Philpott of Healthy Stadia reports on the EuroFIT delivery at the Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire, UK. The Blackburn Rovers Football Club has 20 men participating in their EuroFIT pilot programme. Participants are ready to start Week 6. Thus far, feedback from both the coaches and the participants has been extremely positive.
Below are some new photos and a video from the pilot delivery at the Blackburn Rovers FC. You can read more about Blackburn Rovers’s EuroFIT programme here.
Hugo V. Pereira of the University of Lisbon presented the EuroFIT project on Friday, April 6th in celebration of the World Day of Physical Activity 2018. The presentation highlighted how the love for football can be used in practice to promote healthy lifestyles in community programs. Hugo’s talk was facilitated in the Odivelas Municipality of Lisbon.
Read about the research team at the University of Lisbon, their research interests and their roles within EuroFIT here.
In the recent past, a presentation of EuroFIT by the University of Lisbon team at the U Lisboa Health Network caught the attention of the President of the National Forum for Alcohol and Health (FNAS). As a result, the University of Lisbon EuroFIT research group was invited to be a part of the Forum. This Forum hosted by SICAD (a department of the Ministry of Health for Addictive Behaviours) engages several key partners from key areas (e.g. scientific societies, other ministries, key social agents/organisations from different fields) to stimulate interaction between these key partners, discuss good practices and produce reports. The aims of the Forum are to share good practices and to debate further how can lifestyle- and exercise-based programs also serve to “spill-over” to other health behaviours, such as alcohol consumption. If EuroFIT proves to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption they would like us to write a short report on good practices to be followed by interventional programs with the potential to influence behaviour.
On 19th February 2018, Prof Marlene Silva, University of Lisbon presented on EuroFIT for the FNAS Forum and highlighted best practices in this regard. “It was really well accepted by all members who were really enthusiastic about the project and eager to know more about the results (regarding alcohol). This was a fruitful dissemination and networking opportunity for the EuroFIT team going forward and allowed for future potential developments to be explored.”
On January 25 and 26th, EuroFIT’s University of Lisbon team of Pedro Teixeira, Hugo Vieira Pereira and Marlene Silva and presented EuroFIT at the “Football is Medicine” international conference in Lisbon. This scientific conference assembled expert researchers from around the globe to present and discuss the increasing evidence of recreational football practice as a tool for the prevention and treatment of several non-communicable diseases.
Here, Hugo and Marlene facilitated a 1-hour session called “EUROFIT TACTICS: HARNESSING THE LOVE FOR FOOTBALL TO PROMOTE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS’. The aim of the interactive talk was to present the good practices of intervention design and implementation and to give specific examples of EuroFIT’s intervention strategies. Pedro’s talk “FOOTBALL, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND PUBLIC HEALTH’ was also well-received by the audience.
On January 11, 2018, Prof Doutora Marlene Silva, University of Lisbon gave an invited talk at a conference at Autonoma University (Lisbon, Portugal) in relation to good practices for health behavior change interventions from research to practice. EuroFIT was used as an optimal example, illustrating the main focus of the talk.
The University of Lisbon’s Dr Marlene N. Silva discusses EuroFIT on the Portuguese radio programme ‘90 Seconds of Science’ on 4 January 2018.
Have a listen to the segment here https://www.rtp.pt/play/p2936/e322278/90-segundos-ciencia
“It was great training, we learned a lot of new and exciting things but most of all a new way of interacting with participants and facilitating change!” said one of the participants. Some former FMH-University of Lisboa students (now working in the sports arena) also received the training, anticipating future delivery of it. The training occurred at the home of the Portuguese National Team, and was led by Marlene Silva and Hugo Pereira, EuroFIT researchers at FMH-U Lisbon, with the assistance of former EuroFIT coaches from SL Benfica and FC Porto. Examples and assistance from these former coaches were great and much appreciated. Everyone was unanimous in considering that their inputs brought not only applied examples, but also reassurance and inspiration. Team spirit and camaraderie were dominant throughout the training!
Reaching out to non-scientific audiences with the project mission, objectives and findings is important too. EuroFIT partners have communicated with a variety of audiences and spread the word in non-scientific journals, such as:
• The journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology devoted to health professionals, “Factores de Risco”, “invited Marlene Silva to write a piece on “The football club as a promoter of health in the population: the example of the EuroFIT program”.
• Pedro Teixeira, Hugo Pereira and Marlene Silva were invited by the Journal of the Portuguese Football Federation to write an article on the importance of football to promote health; the EuroFIT program was as an illustrative example.
• Marlene Silva and Pedro Teixeira were invited to write a piece reflecting the potential role of football clubs to promote community health. Healthy Stadia provided some data for the piece and the EuroFIT program was used as an example
• “Saber Viver”, a lifestyle journal, made a piece on EuroFIT. Healthy Stadia’s work was also featured and described.
• Bunn, C. (2017) Fitness for fans: professional football and public health. Football Medic and Scientist, Issue 20: Spring 2017.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 602170. The material presented and views expressed here are the responsibility of the author(s) only. The EU Commission takes no responsibility for any use made of the information set out.