Parents are an important source of support for facilitating physical activity in children and youth with disabilities (CYWD). Approximately 70% of parents report using the Internet to search for information regarding their children’s health. This study examined the theoretical content of physical activity information contained on publicly available Web sites targeting parents of CYWD. Web sites were amassed using Google, a combination of various search terms, and predetermined inclusion criteria. The Web sites were coded and analyzed using the content-analysis approach to the theory of specified persuasive educational communication. Half of the total Web site content targeted knowledge-based information and messages concerning outcome expectancies. Web sites infrequently included messages concerning self-regulation. Furthermore, the majority of the Web sites were accumulated using the generic term disability. This research highlights the gaps between theory and practice, emphasizing the need for better knowledge-translation practices.
The authors are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.