Joseph Peters, Kellie Halloran, Alexander Teague, Emily Erlenbach, Libak Abou, Mariana Kersh, and Ian Rice
This mixed-method project investigated how people with spinal cord injury perceive high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Using a recumbent hand cycle, 11 active men and 9 active women with spinal cord injury or related disease participated in a single HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) session. Following exercise, participants completed surveys assessing enjoyment, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations. Ten participants were randomly selected to participate in a semistructured interview to assess perceptions toward HIIT. Quantitative survey data revealed that participants trended toward enjoying HIIT over MICT (p = .06) with similar levels of self-efficacy and outcome expectations toward HIIT and MICT (p > .05). Qualitative data revealed that participants believed HIIT would enhance long-term physical and self-evaluative outcomes; several barriers emerged that could prevent widespread adoption among the general population with spinal cord injury. Results support HIIT as a viable exercise option, although research should begin exploring ways to remove HIIT-related barriers that people with spinal cord injury may encounter.
Adriana Marin-Urquiza, Jan Burns, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, and Debbie Van Biesen
Opportunities to participate and compete in sports for athletes with intellectual disability (ID) have increased; however, this group still encounters limitations in accessing a comprehensive range of sports. This study addressed the current knowledge on how sport for people with ID is organized and the relationships between the major sport organizations for people with ID across 10 European countries. The participants were 29 national sport organizations for people with ID. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with representatives from the key organizations and analyzed thematically. From the results, two major themes emerged: (a) connection and networking between sport organizations and (b) organizational landscape of each nation (i.e., ID, multidisability, or mainstream). The results of this study contribute to understanding how sport for people with ID is organized across the participating nations, demonstrating different models of development and examples of good practice.
Hayley Kavanagh, Mika Manninen, Sarah Meegan, and Johann Issartel
Mastering the ability to move proficiently from a young age is an important contributor to lifelong physical activity participation. This study examined fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency in children with intellectual disabilities (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years) and typically developing children (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years). Participants were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–3rd edition and balance subtest from the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. The FMS proficiency of typically developing children including mastery/near mastery level (combined variable representing mastery, which is achieving all criteria for the skill, over both trials and near mastery, wherein a participant performs all but one of the components of the skill correctly) was significantly higher than for children with intellectual disabilities. A similar observation was made with multiple linear regression analysis testing the interaction effect of participant group and age/gender on all three FMS subcomponents. The results presented will help establish a baseline of FMS proficiency and guidelines for future intervention for children with intellectual disabilities.
Leah G. Taylor, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Julia Yates, Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter, Meagan Stanley, and Patricia Tucker
Physical activity (PA) in the early years is foundational for growth and development and associated with numerous health benefits. However, the prevalence of PA participation among the pediatric population with disabilities is less clear. This systematic review aimed to synthesize the existing literature on PA levels of young children (0–5.99 years) with disabilities. Empirical quantitative studies were collected from seven databases and reference hand searching; 21 studies were included in the review. PA levels varied widely based on disability type and measurement strategies, but overall, PA levels were low. Future research should address the underrepresentation of measurement and reporting of the PA levels of young children with disabilities.
Jin Bo, Bo Shen, YanLi Pang, Mingting Zhang, Yuan Xiang, Liangshan Dong, Yu Song, Patricia Lasutschinkow, Alina Dillahunt, and Dan Li
The current study examined the acquisition, retention, and transfer effects of a motor program. Children with autism spectrum disorder participated in a 9-week program that targeted 13 fundamental motor skills based upon the Test of Gross Motor Development-3. Assessments were conducted before and after the program, as well as at 2-month follow-up. Significant improvements were found on not only the trained fundamental motor skills (acquisition) but also the untrained tasks on balance (transfer). The follow-up tests revealed continuous improvement on the trained locomotor skills (retention), as well as the untrained skills on balance (retention + transfer). These findings highlight the importance of continuous support and long-term participation on motor practices.
Aurelien Vandenbergue, J.P. Barfield, Said Ahmaidi, Stephanie Williams, and Thierry Weissland
The aim of this study was to identify contextual factors that negatively affect activity and participation among powerchair football (PF) players. Thirty-seven semistructured interviews were conducted with PF players (M age = 27.9 ± 8.2 years) in France (n = 18) and the United States (n = 19). Participants reported acute back and neck pain as the primary morbidities resulting from PF participation, with sustained atypical posture in the sport chair as the primary cause. Competition-related physical and mental stress were also identified as participation outcomes. Accompanying the many benefits of PF, participants recognized negative impacts of discomfort, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue. Interventions such as seating modifications, thermotherapy to combat pain, napping to combat acute physical stress, and mental preparation to manage state anxiety were all identified as prospective interventions.
Lorenna Tussis, Suzie Lemmey, and Jan Burns
Most people with intellectual disabilities have comorbid health conditions, which will impact optimization of sporting performance. Classification is used in Paralympic events to ensure that those with similar levels of functional ability compete fairly against each other. An evidence-based approach needs to be developed for athletes with intellectual disabilities to be classified in relation to their overall functional capacity into competition groups of similar ability. This research builds on previous work using the taxonomy of The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to group athletes with intellectual disabilities into comparable competition groups as an approach to Paralympic classification. Three groups of athletes—Virtus, Special Olympics, and Down syndrome—are compared using the ICF questionnaire indicating functional health status in relation to sporting performance. The questionnaire was found to discriminate between athletes with Down syndrome and other athletes, and an approach to using a cutoff score to develop competition classes is explored.