Exploring the beliefs of young people with cerebral palsy and their families about sport and physical activity in relation to paediatric physiotherapy exercise

SNOWDON, Nicola and BOOTH, Susan (2019). Exploring the beliefs of young people with cerebral palsy and their families about sport and physical activity in relation to paediatric physiotherapy exercise. Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists Journal, 10 (2), 20-32.

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Background and Purpose Physiotherapy programmes are an important part of therapeutic input for young people with cerebral palsy (YPwCP), but adherence can be problematic. The involvement of physical activities (PA) could be a possible solution, but YPwCP have lower levels of physical leisure participation than their typically developing peers. Method This qualitative study aimed to explore the beliefs of young people with disabilities and their families about PA in relation to physiotherapy programmes. PA was broadly defined to include not only disability sports, but any aerobic exercise and ‘beliefs’ as perceptions, knowledge and attitudes. A purposive sample of participants from the researcher’s physiotherapy service was invited to undertake semi-structured interviews. Inclusion criteria were 8-19 years of age, having a disability, cognitively able and able to understand and express themselves in English. Parents/care givers were included to capture their discrete perspectives and enable reflective discussion about any synergies or differences between their beliefs and those of their children. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results Two YPwCP and their mothers participated. Three main themes arose: • The feelings evoked by PA, in particular feelings of otherness were underpinned by the desire for ‘normal’ participatory experiences alongside typically developing peers. • External factors and others attitudes affect participation in PA, in particular unfavourable judgements and tokenism within mainstream environments contrasted with a normalising acceptance in disability sports settings. • Physiotherapy and PA are different, participants believed that physiotherapy, physiotherapists and medical venues possessed superior quality, legitimacy and potency. Conclusion The study revealed YPwCP and families’ unique beliefs and preferences concerning PA and the status of physiotherapy and physiotherapists within daily life. Physiotherapists should consider the influence of these beliefs when seeking to signpost to PA or enhance longer-term adherence to programmes within a context of reduced clinical contact.

Item Type: Article
Page Range: 20-32
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 13:46
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:37
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26358

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