Analysis of dissertations on issues of physical education service for special health groups

PhD E.I. Sheenko1
Postgraduate B.G. Tolistinov1
1Polzunov Altai State Technical University, Barnaul

Keywords: special health groups, need, self-reliant physical activity.

 Introduction. In accordance with priorities of state policy, the improvement of physical education and sports in the Russian Federation is aimed at ensuring the development of human potential, the citizens’ health preservation and strengthening as well as the younger generation’s upbringing. As a result, the important step of physical education modernization in educational institutions is the improvement of physical education for individuals with disabilities.

The experts’ interest in the problem of physical education for individuals with some health impairments has significantly increased in recent years. However, in practice the scientific and methodological support of working with this category of students can’t keep up with the times and requires a serious methodological, managerial and practical reorganization.

Objective of the study was to analyze the scientific trends of dissertations in the field of physical education of the special health group students.

Methods of research. As methods of research, we used the method of theoretical analysis of literature, namely dissertations. The article discusses the dissertations in two scientific fields: physiological and pedagogical sciences which are directly related to the educational process of “Physical education” and “Physical culture” courses in educational organizations of all kinds.

Results of the study. From the middle of the last century to present day, 68 dissertations were prepared on the physical education of students, classified by health to special health groups. And only three of them were performed in the physiological sciences: O.P. Gasparkene “Physical and functional peculiarities of the special health group students and the analysis of their physical education” (1972), A.V. Meshcheryakov “Physiological substantiation of physical training of the special health group students with different types of constitutions” (2009) (both majoring in human and animal physiology, code 03.00.13) and L.V. Salaznikov “The influence of breathing exercises on the functional state of the special health group female students” (2000) (majoring in normal physiology, code 14.00.17). All other studies were performed under the following three majors: 13.00.01, 13.00.04 and 13.00.08.

In the middle of the last century the scientific research by Andrei Vishnevsky “Physical education of special group students in higher education” (1953) marked the beginning of the study of the problems of physical education among students with deviations in health. For the first time, the importance and need to create special health groups (SHG) in higher educational institutions was emphasized [2].

Undoubtedly, the dissertation by A.M. Vishnevsky attracted many experts’ attention to the problem of physical education of general education and university students who are classified as SHG. In the following years a significant number of publications appeared (S.V. Khrushchev, 1959; Kh.A. Turokhodzhaev, I.S. Glazkova, 1960; N.V. Sherstyuk, 1963; A.A. Briedis, 1963; G.I. Krasnoselsky, 1964 and other authors). But the next dissertation was submitted to defense only 19 years later. It was the scientific research by Ona Gasparken “Physical and functional peculiarities of the special health group students and the analysis of their physical education” (Vilnius, 1972). This research brought the problems of working with SHGs into focus. This paper, for the first time, described physiological processes which take place during physical exertion, namely, how physical exercises influence the organism with various developmental problems. The author also cited the effects of physical exercises on the restoration of certain physical functions of the SHG students [3].

The dissertation by Elena Gurevich “Research on the effectiveness of means, routines and methods of physical education in the system of classes for the special health group students who have cardiovascular disease” (1977) should also be stressed. The main goal of Gurevich’s dissertation is “the development of a scientifically and methodologically grounded system of classes that affects the health and performance of the special health group students” [4].

The reform of the general education and vocational schools in the mid-1980s triggered mass publications in the press about negative dynamics of the younger generation’s health status [6]. That situation clearly showed the need for a health-improving orientation of physical education in educational institutions.

The state’s attention to the students with some health impairments lead to new attempts of researchers to develop and experimentally approve some particular methods, technologies and programs of physical education in SHG. For instance, S.B. Bondar’s dissertation “Optimal motor mode for the special health group students” (1984) in a way was a response to the government agencies’ requirements with regard to work in SHG. In this work the author searched for the most effective physical exercises and methods for conducting classes with the SHG students. However, this work only concerns students who have high blood pressure [1].

After a significant break, caused by state reforms, a new interest in the analyzed issue emerged starting from 1991. Thus, from that moment to present day, 63 Ph.D. theses and 1 doctoral thesis were defended (O.G. Rumba, 2011).  But most of the work was completed before 2013. Over the past four years only three Ph.D. theses have been written (N.N. Trifonova, 2014; E.V. Egorycheva, 2014; D.A. Ulyanov, 2016).

It’s necessary to divide all studies into two groups depending on the type of educational institution where the experimental work was performed. The first group covers dissertations which were performed in higher education institutions. The second group covers dissertations which were performed in general education institutions.

We identified the following scientific areas while studying the dissertations on physical education in SHG which were performed in higher education institutions (57 studies):

  • physical education quality (12 studies);
  • formation of the individual’s physical culture (9 studies);
  • use of specific means of physical training (15 studies);
  • fitness (6 studies);
  • functional capabilities (2 studies);
  • various factors and auxiliary means of physical training (2 studies);
  • handling of individuals with particular diseases (8 studies).

Among the presented scientific areas, most of the attention is devoted to the use of specific means of physical training of the SHG students: yoga, shaping, aerobics, volleyball, etc. (Zh.A. Belikova, G.A. Gavronina, Sh.A. Imnaev, et al.).

Another popular problem among researchers is the improvement of physical education quality (A.A. Andrievsky, E.V. Egorycheva, A.I. Zagrevskaya, et al.).

9 dissertations were devoted to the formation of the SHG students’ individual physical culture (I.A. Alferova, E.E. Afanasenko, A.S. Boldov, and other authors).

It is worth noting one more problem that is well covered by researchers – physical education of students with particular diseases: vegetative disorders, articular-ligamentous apparatus disorders, vegetative dysfunction, cardiovascular system disorders, neurocirculatory dystonia, etc. (M.D. Bogoyeva, S.B. Bondar’, E.B. Gurevich, and other authors). The other studies include the three following topics: fitness (V.P. Golomolzina, S.A. Grigorieva, O.G. Rumba, and other authors), functional capabilities (G.A. Grishina, L.V. Salaznikova), various factors and auxiliary means of physical training (N.F. Ivanushkina, E.O. Kashmina).

The study of contemporary requirements for physical education goals allows us to note some discrepancy between the state demand and the research subject field in recent years [7].

The examination of academic opinions in the field of theory and practice of physical culture made it possible to determine the main goal of physical education in educational institutions. In order to raise the students’ awareness of the physical education issues and form their need for physical self-improvement, cultivation of an self-reliant activity is required. We believe that the problem of cultivating the students’ self-reliant activity and helping them understand the values of physical culture should become a priority. This key scientific problem should be addressed by experts in physical culture. It’s important to understand the urgency of developing appropriate methods or technologies of physical education for students, especially those who have some health impairments.

The analyzed dissertations undoubtedly have practical and scientifically substantiated proposals for organizing work with the SHG students. But as the long-term practical and theoretical studies show, the methods and programs proposed in the mentioned dissertations are only effective while the students attend classes. However, as soon as the physical education classes are over, students stop practicing and their health often reverts to its original state, sometimes even accompanied by relapses of their disease [5, 7].

The conclusion. The analysis of the dissertations’ scientific trends in the field of physical education of the SHG students allowed concluding the following:

  • The level of scientific activity with regard to the problems of physical education in SHG is insufficient: 68 dissertations over 64 years since the first defense proves that the researchers do not pay enough attention to the problem;
  • The studies are narrowly aimed and therefore they do not fully address the goals of physical education and are unable to give the SHG students a good understanding of the key values of physical culture;
  • There are no such methods for forming the individual’s physical culture which prioritize a stable need for self-reliant physical activity among the SHG students.


  1. Bondar S.B. Optimalny dvigatelny rezhim dlya studentov spetsialnykh meditsinskikh grupp [Optimal motor mode for special health group students]. PhD. Malakhovka, 1984. 330 p.
  2. Vishnevsky A.M. Fizicheskoe vospitanie studentov spetsialnoy gruppy v vysshey shkole [Academic physical education of special health group students]. PhD diss. abstract. Leningrad: LSIPC, 1953. 25 p.
  3. Gasparkene O.P. Fizicheskie i funktsionalnye osobennosti organizma uchashchikhsya, zanimayushchikhsya v spetsialnykh meditsinskikh gruppakh, i analiz fizicheskogo vospitaniya ikh [Physical and functional characteristics of special health group students and analysis of their physical education]. PhD diss. abstract. Vilnius: Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the Lithuanian SSR, 1972. 32 p.
  4. Gurevich E.B. Issledovanie effektivnosti sredstv, rezhimov i metodov fizicheskogo vospitaniya v sisteme zanyatiy so studentami spetsialnykh meditsinskikh grupp, imeyushchimi zabolevaniya serdechno-sosudistoy sistemy [Study of effectiveness of means, modes and methods of physical education in training system for special health group students diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases]. PhD. Moscow, 1977, 246 p.
  5. Lukonin Y.V. , Sheenko E.I., Polyakov A.M. Pochemu u shkolnikov i studentov ne formiruetsya ustoychivaya potrebnost v fizicheskoy kulture i zdorovom obraze zhizni [Reasons for schoolchildren and students not developing steady need for physical education and healthy lifestyle]. Fizicheskaya kultura v shkole. 2011. no. 5, pp. 2-6.
  6. Postanovlenie ot 11 sentyabrya 1981 g. № 890 «O dalneyshem pod'eme massovosti fizicheskoy kultury i sporta»: Biblioteka normativno-pravovykh aktov Soyuza Sovetskih Sotsialisticheskikh respublik [Decree No. 890 of September 11, 1981, “On Further promotion of Mass Physical education and Sports” [Electronic resource]: Library of normative legal acts of the USSR]. Available at: (date of access: 23.08.2017)
  7. Sheenko E.I., Bodyukov E.V., Yurov V.V. Analiz problem formirovaniya u studentov potrebnosti v tsenno-styah fizicheskoy kultury [Analysis of problems of formation of students' needs for physical education values]. Sovremennye problemy nauki i obrazovaniya, 2015. no. 6. Available at: (date of access 26.08.2017).

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The given study analyzes dissertations on the issues of physical education for special health groups for the last few years to find the most grounded and beneficial physical education models for this student group. The topics of dissertations were classified into the following two groups: physiological and pedagogical studies of the education and tutorial process design and management models for the physical education disciplines; and the physical education programs run by different educational establishments.

The study overviews a few most representative dissertations on the above issues; and highlights the key research fields of interest for the research community grouped as follows: physical education service quality improvements; personality physical culture; specific physical education service tools; physical and functional progress; factors of influence on and additional resources for the physical education service; health disorders specific physical education service models.

The study found the following: the top priority issues for the physical education service to the special health group; insufficient research activity and too narrow range of research interests in the subject field; and deviation of the study goals in favor of narrow solutions that fail to address the physical education service issues on an inclusive basis.

The study data and analyses demonstrate that the national physical education policies and practices still fail to address the physically educated personality development issues and offer efficient physical education service models to develop a habitual need for physical activity in the special health group students.