A Systematic Review of Influences on Development of Athletes With Disabilities

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 York University
  • | 2 University of Ontario Institute of Technology
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Compared with mainstream sport athletes, relatively little is known regarding the factors affecting the development of athletes with a disability. Sport-specific training programs are essential to athletes’ successful performance; to create appropriate programs and strategies, a clear understanding of the nuances of development of athletes with a disability is important. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize existing research on development in athletes with a disability and examine the key determinants of successful development and sporting performance. After a search of the Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases, 21 articles were identified that met the inclusion criteria, which were assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool and categorized into 3 groups: training and practice, shortterm interventions, and long-term changes due to training. Among the studies, there was a disproportionate focus on immediate interventions and training programs and less on long-term development. The review reflected a lack of research on sportspecific development of athletes with a disability, which raises concerns regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of current training practices.

Nima Dehghansai, Lemez, and Baker are with the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada. Wattie is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Inst. of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Nima Dehghansai at thirteen@yorku.ca
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