Centre for Leadership in Participation and Inclusion
Project: SportFIT and Recreation – a collaborative intensive physiotherapy/therapeutic recreation camp for youth with cerebral palsy
What was this study about?
Youth with cerebral palsy (CP) are at risk for a decline in physical function and are more likely to have less active lifestyles1,2. Youth with disabilities also face additional barriers to sport/physical activity participation2 .The purpose of this study was to develop and facilitate an intensive Physiotherapy (PT) and Therapeutic Recreation (TR) camp to improve motor skills and fitness while also increasing enjoyment and participation in recreational activities in youth with cerebral palsy.
What did we do?
The Program: 2 weeks in July, 6 hours/day with sessions that included circuit training, Liberi Exergame system, leisure education, and adapted sport skill development. Community outings (rock climbing, dragon boating, Variety Village) were integrated into the program.
Therapeutic Recreation Outcome Measures:
- Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES)
- Healthy Living Questionnaire (HLQ)
- Modified Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE)
- Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS)
- Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM)
A 6 month follow up allowed the team to evaluate the impact on participants beyond the program.
Impact for clients, families and clinical practice
This project had a meaningful impact on the participation patterns and enjoyment of physical activity in youth with cerebral palsy. All clients met their therapeutic recreation goals. The collaborative model has influenced other programs at Holland Bloorview including ‘Fit & Flex’ which has now integrated therapeutic recreation to enhance the previously physiotherapy specific program. This model can be used to inform and enhance programs for youth with disabilities within and beyond Holland Bloorview through the projects knowledge sharing activities.
What did we learn?
- Individualized Therapeutic Recreation COPM change scores reached clinical importance targets (2 points+), indicatingthat participants had increased their perceived performance and satisfaction with goal areas
- At 6 month follow up participants showed significant positive change in their participation in team sports and active games and a decrease in boredom and dislike of physical activities
- Co-treatment (PT & TR) was linked with enhancement of both practices, broader range of goals and participant satisfaction
In order to ensure this study is shared with clinicians, researchers, clients and families, presentations and publication of the findings will be offered in 2016. SportFIT & Recreation’s collaborative model will continue to be evaluated while exploring other formats for integration of the model (eg., Fit & Flex). We hope to offer the program again in the summer of 2016, to reach more clients and families. This will allow us to continue to inform our knowledge and understanding of effective interventions to improve health and quality of life for youth with disabilities.