Making Physical Activity a Pediatric Vital Sign

Massachusetts Sports Medicine Physician Awarded 2017 ACSM-AMSSM Clinical Research Grant

Press Release:

Andrea Stracciolini, M.D., FACSM, is the 2017 recipient of the American College of Sports Medicine-American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Foundation Clinical Research Grant for her research titled, “The Pediatric Physical Activity Vital Sign: Screening Children for Exercise Deficit Disorder.”

In its fifth year, this collaborative project between ACSM and AMSSM funds a single research award of $20,000.

“Receiving this award from esteemed members of ACSM and AMSSM highlights the national recognition of the dire need to focus health care on prevention of disease— in this case, childhood physical inactivity and the associated adverse health consequences,” said Dr. Stracciolini. “Exercise Deficit Disorder (EDD) is a condition characterized by reduced levels of regular physical activity in children resulting in undeveloped physical literacy. Funding for this study will support the development of a pediatric physical activity vital sign, with the goal of early detection of childhood physical inactivity and treatment with intervention to improve physical literacy and promote long-term physical activity throughout the life span.”

Dr. Stracciolini added: “If validated, the physical activity vital sign will facilitate the detection of poor physical literacy in children by health care practitioners. This model promotes and encourages effective execution of the Exercise is Medicine® initiative and is directly aligned with advocacy efforts of ACSM and AMSSM.

Included within the grant, will be funds earmarked to help will support enhancing Dr. Stracciolini’s data analysis research skills by providing funding to attend two educational opportunities.

 “Many children are not meeting recommendations for physical activity, and declines in physical activity begin at around six years of age. There is a need to raise awareness of this lack of physical activity. The grant by Dr. Stracciolini seeks to develop a clinically useful, sensitive and specific Physical Activity Vital Sign to screen children using a brief questionnaire,” said ACSM and AMSSM member Steven Stovitz, M.D., FACSM, who chaired the joint organization review committee. “The grant committee, composed of members from both ACSM and AMSSM, felt that this proposal will assist clinicians to recognize children who are insufficiently active. Ultimately, this may assist efforts to increase physical activity in children and improve our nation's health.”

Dr. Stracciolini is a full-time attending physician in primary care sports medicine and the director of dance medicine at the Boston Children's Hospital. She also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Throughout her career as a pediatric emergency medicine and primary care sports medicine physician, Dr. Stracciolini has strived to make teaching a priority, while providing comprehensive clinical care to all of her patients. She has been able to further her career academically and clinicall, with a special focus on sports and dance injury prevention, exercise promotion in children and musculoskeletal ultrasound. Lecturing internationally, nationally and regionally has been a priority throughout her career.

Teaching others what she has learned from leaders in the field of sports medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital is a critical and inherent part of her academic career. her work with pediatric exercise science specialists has been pivotal to her career development. Dr. Stracciolini’s goal is to promote the early diagnosis and treatment of children who are exercise deficient and tourther her research on exercise promotion and injury prevention in young children.She will continue to strive to learn and build skills in new and exciting ways and educate those in her path.

The primary purpose of the ACSM-AMSSMF Clinical Research Grant Award is to foster original scientific investigations with a strong clinical focus among physician members of ACSM and AMSSM. A secondary intent of the grant program is to foster the development of the principal investigator’s research education by requiring that a portion of the funds to be applied to meet this goal. The review committee sought research proposals that investigate research questions within the broad discipline of sports medicine. The criteria required proposals to be led by physicians who are members of both ACSM and AMSSM.



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