Bone and Joint Institute


Current Experiences and Future Expectations for Physical Activity Participation: Perspectives of Young People with Physical Disabilities and Their Rehabilitation Clinicians

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Developmental Neurorehabilitation

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© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Purpose: Researchers investigated current physical activity experiences of youth with physical disabilities and expectations for continued participation as they transition to adult services. Method: Youth (n = 6) and clinicians (n = 7) from a rehabilitation center participated in two separate focus groups. Researchers used inductive thematic analysis. Results: Four themes emerged among youth: “good for your health”; “motivation is key”; “social opportunities in safe environments”; “wanting to stay active.” Among clinicians, five themes arose: “added therapeutic benefits with participation”; “development as individuals through physical activity”; “inclusive and supportive environments”; “parents as advocates”; “transitioning to adult services is important.” Conclusions: Themes across focus groups were comparable. Participants expressed positive experiences for youth attending a dedicated adapted fitness center. To facilitate current and future physical activity in adulthood for youth with physical disabilities in integrated settings, the following are warranted: accessible buildings, trained staff, adapted equipment, and positive attitudes toward disability.

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