Effects of a school-based sports program on psychosocial health and attention in youth with physical disabilities

Authors Maremka Zwinkels , Marjolijn Ketelaar , Tanja Nijboer , Olaf Verschuren , Saskia te Velde , Janke de Groot , Tim Takken , Anne Visser‑Meily
Published in Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Publication date 2020
Research groups Innovation of Movement Care
Type Article

Summary

PURPOSE: Youth with physical disabilities have lower psychosocial health and attention compared to their typically developing peers. Recent research has shown positive associations between sports participation and these outcomes. The purpose of the current study was to explore whether a school-based sports program affects psychosocial health and attention in youth with physical disabilities. METHODS: Seventy children and adolescents (mean age (SD) 13.8 (2.9) years, aged 8–19 years, 54% boys) with physical disabilities were included in this quasi-experimental study from schools for special education. The sports group (n = 31) followed a school-based sports program (45 min/week) for six months. The control group followed the regular curriculum. Psychosocial health was assessed with self-perception (Self-Perception Profile for Children) and quality of life (DISABKIDS Chronic Generic Measure, DCGM-37). Attention was measured with experimental tasks on search efficiency, sustained attention, and distractibility. RESULTS: Linear regression analyses revealed no differences between the sports and control group for self-perception, quality of life, and attention. CONCLUSION: A school-based sports program seems to have no effect on psychosocial health and attention in youth with physical disabilities. Research into the important factors influencing these variables is needed before further resources can be given to improve sports participation for increasing psychosocial health and attention.

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Language English
Published in Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Key words youth, sports, physical disability, quality of life, self-concept
Digital Object Identifier 10.3233/PRM-180570
Page range 37-46