DE-PASS Proof of Concept Training School, University of Limerick, Ireland, Jan 2023 – Dr. Kieran Dowd
Between 9th and 11th January 2023, the University of Limerick hosted a Training School for researchers and national leads from 10 nations across the European Union, all of whom have committed to engaging in deliverable 4.5 of DE-PASS. The purpose of this deliverable, which is led by Dr Kieran Dowd (Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone and Prof Aland Donnelly, University of Limerick) is to provide Proof of Concept that harmonisation of future European cross-sectional (and eventually longitudinal) data collection, which involves device-based measures of Physical Activity Behaviours and their associated determinants, is possible.
The focus of this Training School was to review the research plan and protocols for undertaking the Proof of Concept which will take place between April and December 2023. Representatives from all participating 10 nations (Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia) attending the training school, as well a many DE-PASS members joining remotely, enjoyed Keynote presentations from Prof Aiden Doherty on the collection and analysis of wearables in large-scale biobanks, while Prof Adrian Bauman provided insights into important considerations for future research in the area of determinants of physical activity in youth.
The Training School has significantly progressed the proposed methodologies for the Proof of Concept data collection, through detailed debate and discussion on topics such as accelerometer wear protocols, data storage and sharing and the contents of determinant questionnaire in the sample of youth to be studied, all provided by deliverable leads across work package 3 and work package 4. Through lectures and practical elements, the potential to gather consistent and comparable data across a range of different sites in 10 nations has increased greatly. This meeting also served as an excellent opportunity for the DE-PASS Proof of Concept team to meet and network, building links to support the successful achievement of DE-PASS deliverable 4.5. The 3-day workshop on the beautiful campus of Limerick was a great success, while all attendees got the opportunity to sample Irish hospitality across the city of Limerick.