Physical Activity Experiences of Individuals Living With a Traumatic Brain Injury: A Qualitative Research Exploration

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant public health issue due to the incidence, complexity, and cost associated with treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine physical activity (PA) knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and barriers among individuals with a TBI undergoing outpatient rehabilitation. Seventeen participants completed a series of group interviews regarding their PA needs. A qualitative research design was adopted and trustworthiness was established through investigator triangulation of data. A cross-case analysis was completed to identify themes and conceptual patterns. The main themes identified were (a) an inability to differentiate between PA and physical therapy, (b) a limited knowledge of PA health benefits and the relationship to rehabilitation, and (c) an interest in participating in a PA based health promotion program. Future interventions should educate individuals about PA, the associated health benefits, and the role PA plays in the rehabilitation process.

Megan Self is with the University of North Texas. Simon Driver is with Oregon State University, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Corvallis, Oregon. Laurel Stevens is with the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas TX. Ann Marie Warren is with Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.