Factors affecting exercise participation in adolescents with cerebral palsy: a quantitative secondary data analysis
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(2016) Factors affecting exercise participation in adolescents with cerebral palsy: a quantitative secondary data analysis, no. 20.
Questions: What types of structured exercise activities do adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) take part in? What levels of impairment do individuals who take part in these activities have? How is the level of exercise participation impacted by motor function or gender? What are the barriers and facilitators towards participation in exercise activities? Design: This was a secondary data analysis study of a quantitative self-report survey. Participants: 16 adolescents with CP aged 11-15 (median 13.5) including 9 males and 7 females who were under the care of a physiotherapist in the Edinburgh Lothian area. Results: A variety of activity types were reported; swimming/hydrotherapy followed by race running were the most frequent. Males took part in more hours of exercise activities than females. The ambulatory group partook in more exercise than non-ambulatory group. A significant negative correlation was found between motor function and activity participation. A range of barriers and facilitators were identified; the most frequent barrier was being physically unable to do the activity and the most frequent facilitator was parental encouragement to partake in activity. Conclusions: Physical activity should be promoted in adolescents with CP, particularly in females and those with more severe motor impairments. Knowledge of the types of activities individuals are involved in, as well as the factors influencing exercise participation, may help therapists in promoting exercise to their patients and inform service improvement.