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People with disability are insufficiently physically active for health. This study identified the volume, quality, and findings of research that exposes environmental and personal barriers of physical activity participation for people with neurological conditions. CINAHL, Sport Discus, EMBASE, Medline, and AMED were systematically searched between 1999 and week one 2010 for peer reviewed studies that fit the aim of the review. Identified barriers to physical activity participation were categorized into the World Health Organization’s ICF framework of domains. Of the 2,061 studies uncovered in the search, 29 met inclusion criteria and 28 met quality appraisal. Findings showed that barriers to physical activity participation arise from personal factors that, coupled with lack of motivational support from the environment, challenge perceptions of safety and confidence to exercise.
Hilda Mulligan, Leigh Hale, and G. David Baxter are with the Centre for Physiotherapy Research, School of Physiotherapy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Lisa Whitehead is with the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies at the University of Otago Christchurch, New Zealand.