Physical activity promotion to persons with spinal cord injury by health and exercise professionals: A scoping review

J Spinal Cord Med. 2021 Nov 8:1-20. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2021.1977061. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Health and exercise professionals (HEPs) are ideal promoters and valued messengers of physical activity (PA) information among persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). However, little is known about what strategies used by HEPs increase PA behavior in persons with SCI, or what factors influence HEPs when promoting PA to persons with SCI. The purposes of this scoping review were to (1) ascertain the extent, range and nature of the literature, (2) identify strategies used by HEPs that are associated with an increase in PA behavior for persons with SCI, and (3) identify the facilitators and barriers to PA promotion by the HEPs.

METHODS: A comprehensive search was undertaken. Search terms were expanded surrounding three key terms: PA, promotion, and SCI.

RESULTS: Twenty-four articles representing 18 unique studies were identified. HEPs predominantly consisted of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and leisure trainers/therapists. Most interventions were delivered by HEPs to persons with SCI in in-patient rehabilitation centres and community-based settings. Tailored exercise programs and on-going counseling support were considered essential for increasing PA behavior. HEPs’ common barriers to PA promotion were perceived lack of time, education, and training.

CONCLUSION: A need to improve and sustain SCI-specific PA knowledge and education was identified if PA promotion is to become a structured and integral component of practice. This study provides valuable information for interventions to increase PA behavior among persons with SCI by improving PA promotion by HEPs.

PMID:34747675 | DOI:10.1080/10790268.2021.1977061

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