Identifying the top 10 priorities of adolescents with a physical disability regarding participation in physical activity: A Delphi study

Karen Brady*, Ronan Cleary, Eva O'Gorman, Suzanne McDonough, Claire Kerr, Damien Kiernan, Elaine McConkey, Jennifer Ryan, Ailish Malone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Aim: To establish consensus among adolescents with a physical disability regarding their priorities for enhancing participation in physical activity and help inform the design of future interventions for participation in physical activity.

Method: We conducted a national multi‐round Delphi study involving adolescents with a physical disability aged 13 to 17 years. Round 1 of the initial survey consisted of open‐ended questions. Free‐text responses were then analysed thematically, creating items categorized according to the family of participation‐related constructs (fPRC). In round 2, participants rated the perceived importance of these items using a 5‐point Likert scale. The top 10 priorities were constructed from the highest‐ranked items.
Results: One hundred and sixteen participants (mean age = 14 years 7 months, range = 13–17 years; 66 males; 58 with cerebral palsy; 43 wheelchair users) completed round 1; 108 items were included in round 2. Fifty‐eight items were rated as either ‘important’ or ‘really important’ by 70% of participants. The top 10 priorities were rated as important or really important by 82% to 94% of participants with a mean Likert score of 4.40 (range = 4.25–4.63). Seven of the top 10 priorities were related to the environmental context of the fPRC. The other three were related to involvement and the related concept of preference.

Interpretation: The priorities identified will help inform future physical activity interventions for adolescents with a physical disability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Early online date30 May 2024
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 May 2024

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