This review examined demographic and clinical characteristics of participants from exercise trials in 3 neurologic disability conditions (multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury) and compared these data with population-based statistics. The authors included 75 published studies from 2006 to 2016: 53 studies for multiple sclerosis (n = 2,034), 14 for spinal cord injury (n = 302), and 8 for traumatic brain injury (n = 272). Pooled data resembled some heterogeneous aspects of population data sets. However, many characteristics were not reported; samples were small and predominantly White, and 48.1% of the people screened were excluded. Thus, findings from these studies may not be translatable across the range of people with these three conditions, which warrant efforts to target the inclusion of underrepresented subgroups in future exercise trials.
Byron Lai, Katie Cederberg, Kerri A. Vanderbom, C. Scott Bickel, James H. Rimmer, and Robert W. Motl
Melissa Hunfalvay and Nicholas Murray
The purpose of this study was to examine whether prior biped tennis playing experience results in different visual search strategies compared with no prior biped playing experience. A total of 32 wheelchair (WC) tennis players, 17 males and 15 females, ranked between 1 and 16 on the International Tennis Federation rankings participated in this study. Half the players had prior experience playing tennis as a biped player, and half had no prior experience in biped tennis. The athletes viewed 18 different serves from an expert WC player while their gaze was monitored using eye tracking. Results revealed significant differences between the groups in fixation duration and number of fixations. Differences were also found in fixation locations and durations across biomechanical phases of the serve. The WC only players had more fixations for shorter periods than did WC with biped players in the ritual phase. In the preparatory and execution phases, however, the WC only players had fewer fixations for longer duration than the WC with biped players. Results are discussed in terms of long-term memory structures, learning, and considerations when coaching and training WC tennis players.
Alison B. Pritchard Orr, Kathy Keiver, Chris P. Bertram, and Sterling Clarren
Physical activity (PA) has been demonstrated to have positive effects on cognitive function, particularly executive function (EF) skills. Animal models suggest PA may be effective in ameliorating some of the neuropsychological effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), but this approach has not been extended to humans. The purpose of this study was to develop a PA program, FAST Club, for children with FASD and to evaluate its effect on a measure of EF. Using a wait-list control design, 30 children age 7–14 yr participated in FAST Club for 2 × 1.5-hr sessions/week for 8 weeks. EF was assessed using the Children’s Color Trails Test. Significant improvements in T scores on the Children’s Color Trails Test were seen immediately postprogram, and this improvement was sustained at 3 months postprogram. These findings provide evidence to support the use of PA as a means to improve EF in children with FASD.
Jaehun Jung, Willie Leung, Bridgette Marie Schram, and Joonkoo Yun
The purpose of this study was to explore the current levels of physical activity among youth with disabilities using meta-analysis. The search identified 11 publications including 729 participants (age 4–20 yr). The overall effect size for 11 studies was Hedges g = 0.60 (SE = 0.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.24, 0.96], p < .05, k = 11) using a random-effects model. The findings suggest that differences in physical activity levels between youth with and without disabilities are complex. Results indicated that youth without disabilities engaged in higher levels of physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity (g = 0.66, SE = 0.18, p < .05). However, no differences were found in light-intensity physical activity (g = −0.03, SE = 0.16, p > .85). Results also suggested that the differences in physical activity between youth with and without disabilities were affected by age (<12 yr, g = 0.83, SE = 0.24, 95% CI [0.37, 1.29], p < .05, and >13 yr, g = 0.37, SE = 0.10, 95% CI [0.18, 0.57], p < .05; Q value = 3.20, df = 1, p < .05), with children with disabilities engaging in less physical activity than children without disabilities in younger ages. Differences in physical activity level between youth with and without disabilities are functions of intensity of physical activity and age but may not be of type of disability (Q value = 0.22, df = 1, p > .6).
Luis Columna, Denzil A. Streete, Samuel R. Hodge, Suzanna Rocco Dillon, Beth Myers, Michael L. Norris, Tiago V. Barreira, and Kevin S. Heffernan
Despite having the desire to become physically active as a family, parents of children with visual impairments often lack the skills and resources needed to provide appropriate physical activities (PAs) for their children. The purpose of this study was to explore the intentions of parents of children with visual impairments toward including their children in PAs after participating in a PA program. In this descriptive qualitative study, the participants were 10 parents of children with visual impairments. A series of workshops were designed to provide parents with the skills and resources needed to promote PA for their family. Upon completion of the workshops, parents took part in one-on-one semistructured interviews that were subsequently transcribed and analyzed using a thematic line-by-line process. Two interdependent themes emerged from the data analyses: (a) eye-opening experiences and (b) transformed, more hopeful, and optimistic outlook. The results revealed that through the PA intervention, parents learned teaching strategies that were intended to increase their PA opportunities and garnered resources that allowed them to teach their children to participate in PA.
Donna L. Goodwin and Amanda Ebert
Locating suitable, inclusive community physical activity programs for disabled children can be challenging for parents. The aim of this study was to uncover everyday hidden labor experienced by parents, as they sought inclusive physical activity opportunities for their children. Focus group interviews with eight families of youth aged 13–19 years were completed using an interpretative phenomenological case study research approach. Four themes, interpreted through the framework of relational ethics, captured their experiences: (a) inclusion is immensely effortful; (b) judged by their impairments, not their possibilities; (c) ongoing education needed to open doors and sustain participation; and (d) the guilt of staying home. Reliance on hidden parental labor highlighted an exclusion agenda in community, accentuated by ableist belief systems.
Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Joonkoo Yun, Jooyeon Jin, Jeffrey A. McCubbin, and Robert W. Motl
This paper examines the need for interdisciplinary knowledge in the formation of public health models for health-promoting physical activity (PA) for people experiencing disability. PA promotion for people experiencing disability is a multifaceted endeavor and requires navigating a multitude of complicated and interactive factors. Both disability and health are multifaceted constructs and the relationship between PA and health is embedded within a complicated web of interactive influences. PA promotion must consider interacting biological and psychosocial factors within the person and in the sociopolitical environment. Models for research and practice need to evolve from value and belief systems that center on people experiencing disability without stigmatizing them. We argue that interdisciplinary research and practice is needed in navigating the intricacies of PA promotion toward improving the health of people experiencing disability and facilitating inclusion, empowerment, and dignity.