Navigator Role for Promoting Adaptive Sports and Recreation Participation in Individuals With Disabilities.

Journal: American Journal Of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Objective: The aims of the study were to gain a better understanding of the resources, barriers, and facilitators of participation in adaptive sport and recreational activities as a means of achieving physical activity recommendations in individuals with disability and to understand preferences for a patient navigator service to help mitigate the barriers.

Design: Clinical, academic, and community stakeholders applied a community-engaged research approach to develop online surveys and focus group questions for adults with a disability or parents of a child with a disability to meet study objectives.

Results: One hundred ninety-eight adults and 146 parents completed the online surveys. Sixteen adults and 18 parents took part in focus groups. Many participants lacked knowledge of available adaptive sport and recreational resources; other barriers were expense, limited number of trained volunteers, and need for instruction. Conversely, persons were facilitated by community, socialization, and words of encouragement/motivation. Participants strongly preferred a patient navigator to be a person active in adaptive sport and recreational or an informative resource-filled website.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that physical activity programs including adaptive sport and recreational should be designed to offer people with disabilities opportunities to build social networks and strengthen social support. A patient navigator service could help increase participation in adaptive sport and recreational and physical activity within a community context.

Moriah Iverson, Alexander Ng, Alice Yan, Kim Zvara, Michael Bonk, Deb Falk Palec, Cherri Sylla, Maurine Strickland, Rachel Preston, Diane Braza