• The 30-15 intermittent fitness test: can it predict outcomes in field tests of anaerobic performance?

      Scott, Brendan R.; Hodson, Jacob A.; Govus, Andrew; Dascombe, Ben; Murdoch University; University of Newcastle, New South Wales; University of Bedfordshire; La Trobe University (Wolters Kluwer, 2017-10-29)
      This study determined whether a composite assessment of intermittent fitness could be used to quantify performance in several anaerobic tasks. Fifty-two male recreational athletes (age: 24.3 ± 4.4 years; body mass: 85.1 ± 12.2 kg; height: 180.5 ± 7.0 cm) were recruited from various team sports. Participants completed a battery of field tests to assess sprinting speed (40-m sprint), acceleration ability (10-m sprint), change of direction speed (505 test), anaerobic capacity (300-m shuttle), lower-body power (vertical jump), and repeated-sprint ability and the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test to determine the velocity of intermittent fitness (VIFT). Relationships between anaerobic tests and VIFT were quantified via Pearson product-moment correlations, and a 2-predictor model multiple linear regression estimated the predictive relationships between the exercise tests and the VIFT. Multiple linear regression showed that VIFT significantly predicted 56, 51, 44, 36, 12, and 1% of the variance in the 300-m shuttle, repeated sprint, 505- and 40-m sprint, vertical jump, and 10-m sprint tests, respectively. The 2-predictor model determined the 300-m shuttle, and repeated-sprint performance accounted for 67% of the variance in VIFT. These findings highlight that various anaerobic characteristics contribute to the intermittent fitness qualities that are quantified through VIFT. More specifically, these data indicate that VIFT is useful for tracking performance in tasks largely determined by anaerobic capacity, but may not be a good predictor of brief all-out sprinting and jumping efforts.
    • Australian social work research: an empirical study of engagement and impact

      Tilbury, Clare; Bigby, Christine; Fisher, Mike; Hughes, Mark; Griffith University; La Trobe University; University of Bedfordshire; Southern Cross University (Oxford University Press, 2020-12-03)
      Internationally, non-academic research impact is assessed by governments as part of evaluating the quality of publicly funded research. A case study method was used to investigate the non-academic impact of Australian social work research. Interviews were conducted with 15 leading researchers about outputs (research products, such as publications and reports), engagement (interaction between researchers and end-users outside academia to transfer knowledge, methods, or resources), and impact (social or economic contributions of research). Twelve case studies were prepared using a standardised template. Content analysis highlighted examples of impact, and theoretical and in-vivo coding uncovered processes of engagement and impact. Different types of engagements with research end-users influenced impact in three areas: legislation and policy; practices and service delivery; and quality of life of community members. Engagement and impact were intertwined as research altered policy discourses and illuminated hidden social issues, preparing ground for subsequent, more direct impact. Likewise, academic and non-academic impacts were intertwined as research rigour and academic credibility were perceived to leverage influence. There was no evidence of achieving impact simply through the trickle-down effect of scholarly publication. The findings broaden understandings of how research influences policy and practice and iterative and indirect relationships between engagement and impact.
    • Hot and hypoxic environments inhibit simulated soccer performance and exacerbate performance decrements when combined.

      Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Chrismas, Bryna C.; Akubat, Ibrahim; Dascombe, Ben; Abt, Grant; Taylor, Lee; University of Bedfordshire; Qatar University; Newman University; La Trobe University; et al. (Frontiers Media, 2016-01-12)
      The effects of heat and/or hypoxia have been well-documented in match-play data. However, large match-to-match variation for key physical performance measures makes environmental inferences difficult to ascertain from soccer match-play. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the hot (HOT), hypoxic (HYP) and hot-hypoxic (HH) mediated-decrements during a non-motorised treadmill based soccer-specific simulation. Twelve male University soccer players completed three familiarisation sessions and four randomised crossover experimental trials of the intermittent Soccer Performance Test (iSPT) in normoxic-temperate (CON: 18oC 50% rH), HOT (30oC; 50% rH), HYP (1,000m; 18oC 50% rH) and HH (1,000m; 30oC; 50% rH). Physical performance and its performance decrements, body temperatures (rectal, skin and estimated muscle temperature), heart rate (HR), arterial blood oxygen saturation (SaO2), perceived exertion, thermal sensation (TS), body mass changes, blood lactate and plasma volume were all measured. Performance decrements were similar in HOT and HYP [Total Distance (-4%), High-speed distance (~-8%) and variable run distance (~-12%) covered] and exacerbated in HH [total distance (-9%), high-speed distance (-15%) and variable run distance (-15%)] compared to CON. Peak sprint speed, was 4% greater in HOT compared with CON and HYP and 7% greater in HH. Sprint distance covered was unchanged (p > 0.05) in HOT and HYP and only decreased in HH (-8%) compared with CON. Body mass (-2%), temperatures (+2-5%) and TS (+18%) were altered in HOT. Furthermore, SaO2 (-8%) and HR (+3%) were changed in HYP. Similar changes in body mass and temperatures, HR, TS and SaO2 were evident in HH to HOT and HYP, however, blood lactate (p < 0.001) and plasma volume (p < 0.001) were only significantly altered in HH. Perceived exertion was elevated (p < 0.05) by 7% in all conditions compared with CON. Regression analysis identified that absolute TS and absolute rise in skin and estimated muscle temperature (r = 0.82, r = 0.84 r = 0.82, respectively; p <0.05) predicted the hot-mediated-decrements in HOT. The hot, hypoxic and hot-hypoxic environments impaired physical performance during iSPT. Future interventions should address the increases in TS and body temperatures, to attenuate these decrements on soccer performance.
    • Research end-user perspectives about using social work research in policy and practice

      Tilbury, Clare; Hughes, Mark; Bigby, Christine; Fisher, Mike; Griffith University; Southern Cross University; La Trobe University; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford Journals, 2021-02-14)
      Research funding and assessment initiatives that foster engagement between researchers and research end-users have been adopted by governments in many countries. They aim to orient research towards achieving measurable impacts that improve economic and social well-being beyond academia. This has long been regarded as important in social work research, as it has in many fields of applied research. This study examined research engagement and impact from the perspective of research end-users working in human services. In-person or telephone interviews were conducted with 43 research end-users about how they used research and interacted with researchers. Content analysis was undertaken to identify engagement strategies and thematic coding was employed to examine underpinning ideas about research translation into practice. Participants were involved in many types of formal and informal research engagements. They viewed research translation as a mutual responsibility but indicated that researchers should do more to improve the utility of their research for industry. The findings highlight the iterative nature of engagement and impact and raise questions about the infrastructure for scaling up impact beyond relationships between individual researchers and their industry partners.