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The objective of this study was to comprehensively evaluate inclusive out-of-school time physical activity programs for children/youth with physical disabilities. A search of the published literature was conducted and augmented by international expertise. A quality appraisal was conducted; only studies with quality ratings ≥60% informed our best practice recommendations. Seventeen studies were included using qualitative (n = 9), quantitative (n = 5), or mixed (n = 3) designs. Programs had a diversity of age groups, group sizes, and durations. Most programs were recreational level, involving both genders. Rehabilitation staff were the most common leaders. Outcomes focused on social skills/relationships, physical skill development, and psychological well-being, with overall positive effects shown in these areas. The best practice recommendations are consistent with an abilities-based approach emphasizing common group goals and interests; cooperative activities; mastery-oriented, individualized instruction; and developmentally appropriate, challenging activities. Results indicate that inclusive out-of-school time physical activity programs are important for positive psychosocial and physical skill development of children/youth with physical disabilities.
Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Grassmann, and Orr are with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and McPherson, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, McPherson, and Wright are with the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada. Faulkner is with the School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Wright is also with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.