Impact of organized sports on activity, participation and quality of life in people with neurological disabilities
Physical activity and exercise is the mainstay of chronic disease prevention and health maintenance for all people with and without a disability, and there is clear evidence for the benefits among various populations with neurological disabilities. However, the potential benefits of organized sports for people with neurological disabilities are not as well explored. In this narrative review, current evidence regarding the impact of organized sports on activity, participation and quality of life in people with neurological disabilities of all ages is summarized, and facilitators of and barriers to participation in sports for this population are discussed. The articles reviewed were divided into two sets: i) children and adolescents, and ii) adults. Almost all studies were performed on individuals with a spinal cord injury. Children and adolescents with a disability who engaged in sports reported self-concept scores close to those of able-bodied athletes, as well as higher levels of physical activity. Adults with a spinal cord injury who engaged in organized sports reported decreased depression and anxiety, increased life satisfaction and increased opportunity for gainful employment, compared with non-athletic individuals with disabilities. General facilitators, regardless of age, were fitness, fun, health, competence and social aspects, whereas overall barriers were lack of or inappropriate medical advice and facilities, decreased self-esteem, poor finances, dependency on others, and views held by others. The importance of this topic for further research is highlighted and suggestions for future studies are proposed.
Key words:Cerebral Palsy, Disabled Children, Disabled Persons, Myelomeningocele, Nervous System Diseases, Sports for Persons with Disabilities, Spinal Cord Injuries, Wheelchairs
Autor / Fonte:K Barbara Sahlin, Jan Lexell PM & R: the Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation 2015 March 28