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Special Issue "Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2023 | Viewed by 15938

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rubén Trigueros-Ramos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Almería, 04120 La Cañada, Almería, Spain
Interests: motivation; emotions; resilience; physical education; disability
Prof. Dr. José M. Aguilar-Parra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Universidad de Almería, 04120 La Cañada, Almería, Spain
Interests: psychology and education; cutting-edge developments; new digital framework; sustainable world; psychological variables and processes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The adoption of inappropriate lifestyles has led to an increase in the incidence of degenerative diseases due to risk factors. Since the mid to late 1960s, the number of deaths related to coronary diseases, heart attacks, and associated cardiovascular problems have increased worldwide. The World Health Organization has determined that more than two million people die annually from coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dyslipidemia, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety. These diseases account for 60% of deaths worldwide—figures that are projected to rise to 75% beyond 2020.

In this sense, physical inactivity increases the causes of mortality; doubles the risks of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity; and increases the risks of colon and breast cancer, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety.

The population with disabilities is not exempt from this problem, since health levels are observed to be below “normal”. This is due to the lack of programs that encourage the practice of sports by people with disabilities, who are in inferior conditions to the general population. For example, in people with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, and visual impairment, we find levels of physical health below the standards of physical condition of their non-disabled peers.

This Special Issue aims to show the variety and relevance of recent developments and research in the field of physical education and physical activity in persons with disabilities. Possible topics include, among others, the following: social environment in relation to disability; integrative educational methodologies in physical education; training methods; quality of life; education and training; physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


Dr. Rubén Trigueros-Ramos
Dr. José Manuel Aguilar-Parra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • adapted physical activity
  • adapted sport
  • adapted physical education
  • people with disabilities
  • integration
  • inclusion

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Effects of an Online–Offline Hybrid Exercise Program on the Lives of Children with Cerebral Palsy Using Wheelchairs during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127203 - 12 Jun 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many online programs for social meetings, education, leisure, and physical activities have been developed and provided; however, children with cerebral palsy (CP) cannot enjoy online programs in the same way that those without disabilities can. The aim [...] Read more.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many online programs for social meetings, education, leisure, and physical activities have been developed and provided; however, children with cerebral palsy (CP) cannot enjoy online programs in the same way that those without disabilities can. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in reintegration to normal living (RNL), social interaction, and quality of life among school-age children with CP after participation in a game-based online–offline hybrid group exercise program. The current study was conducted on 26 children with CP who participated in a hybrid exercise program. The RNL, social interaction, and quality of life were measured before and after the six-week program. The scores of RNL and quality of life were improved (p < 0.05) after program participation. Online or hybrid exercise programs incorporating interactive methods (i.e., competition and cooperating) could enhance RNL and quality of life of children with CP. Thus, well-designed online or hybrid exercise programs should be developed and provided for children with CP to enhance overall quality of life during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
Article
Physical Activity for Children and Youth with Physical Disabilities: A Case Study on Implementation in the Municipality Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105791 - 10 May 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Children and youth with disabilities participate less in physical activity (PA) than their peers. This qualitative multiple-case study aimed to assess how municipal practices support PA implementation for these children and youth. A total of 23 interviews were conducted, which covered participants from [...] Read more.
Children and youth with disabilities participate less in physical activity (PA) than their peers. This qualitative multiple-case study aimed to assess how municipal practices support PA implementation for these children and youth. A total of 23 interviews were conducted, which covered participants from different departments and professional positions in two municipalities. Local policy documents were included. A thematic analysis was performed, which was based on Winter’s integrated implementation model and Gittell’s theory on relational coordination. The study findings indicate how PA implementation for children and youth with disabilities is a complex challenge that involves several departments and agents. The study demonstrates that having an explicit policy that focuses on parasport can positively influence organisational and interorganisational behaviour, and that coordinating consultants seem to play an essential role in PA implementation. However, there is room for improvement at the municipal level in order to promote a better overall performance in terms of the support for PA participation of children and youth with disabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
Analysis of the Attitude of Spanish Physical Education Teachers towards Students with Disabilities in Extremadura
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095043 - 21 Apr 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Inclusive education aims to eliminate barriers in the participation and performance of students, considering their diversity. In this sense, there is a regulation that governs the educational response, being different for each region. Therefore, this study aims to know the attitude of Physical [...] Read more.
Inclusive education aims to eliminate barriers in the participation and performance of students, considering their diversity. In this sense, there is a regulation that governs the educational response, being different for each region. Therefore, this study aims to know the attitude of Physical Education teachers of different educational stages in Spain toward students with disabilities. A questionnaire was administered to 272 Physical Education teachers from public schools in a region of Spain. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to determine the relationships between items and dimensions according to sex or center location, and Spearman’s Rho was used to analyze the relationship between dimensions and years of experience. The main results showed that teachers do not feel prepared in terms of training, resources, and infrastructure, although they consider that the integration of students with disabilities in regular classes is beneficial for them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
Article
Physical Education Teachers’ Self-Efficacy toward Including Students with Autism in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13197; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413197 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1054
Abstract
The inclusion of students with autism in physical education (PE) curricula has become a global trend. Although the self-efficacy of PE teachers has been identified as a major factor supporting the successful implementation of inclusive PE, limited research exists on this area in [...] Read more.
The inclusion of students with autism in physical education (PE) curricula has become a global trend. Although the self-efficacy of PE teachers has been identified as a major factor supporting the successful implementation of inclusive PE, limited research exists on this area in non-Western societies, especially Saudi Arabia. To address this paucity, the present study aimed (1) to determine the level of self-efficacy among PE teachers in Saudi Arabia toward including students with autism in PE classes via investigating specific independent variables; and (2) to identify the predictors of Saudi PE teachers’ self-efficacy toward including students with autism. A total of 214 Saudi PE teachers (male n = 188; female n = 26; mean age = 41.07 years) participated in this study. Self-efficacy level toward including students with autism was measured using the Arabic version of the Physical Educators’ Self-Efficacy Towards Including Students with Disabilities-Autism (PESEISD-A) instrument. Statistical analysis revealed that PE teachers had a moderate level (M = 4.51, SD = 2.04) of self-efficacy toward including students with autism in PE classes. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that age and feelings of preparedness of the teachers were significant predictors (β = −0.297; p = 0.012; β = 0.178; p = 0.012, respectively) of their self-efficacy toward including students with autism in PE classes. The findings highlight the need for continued efforts to improve Saudi PE teachers’ level of self-efficacy and preparedness towards successfully including students with autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
Article
Effects of Physical Exercise on Women with Disabilities in South Korea: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312791 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
This study is the first to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the effects of physical exercise on South Korean women with disabilities using the data of previous studies. This study performed a meta-analysis of the effect sizes of exercise programs for women with [...] Read more.
This study is the first to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the effects of physical exercise on South Korean women with disabilities using the data of previous studies. This study performed a meta-analysis of the effect sizes of exercise programs for women with disabilities using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 3.0 and a total of 16 papers with 154 participants. The largest effect sizes were found for changes in muscle strength (d = 2.407) for treatment effects, horseback riding (d = 3.080) for exercise type, 45–50 min (d = 3.080) for duration of a single exercise session, three times (d = 0.963) for frequency of exercise per week, 15 weeks (d = 1.974) for period of exercise and 45 times (d = 1.974) for total number of sessions. The results of this meta-analysis showed that exercise programs suitable for the individual-level characteristics of disabled individuals can and should be developed and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
Testing the Structural Validity of the Self-Stigma Scale in Relatives of People with Autism in the Spanish Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147384 - 10 Jul 2021
Viewed by 830
Abstract
Sometimes, relatives of children with autism experience feelings of guilt, abandonment and devaluation, as they tend to see themselves as the cause of their children’s illness. This causes social isolation and psychological discomfort. However, there are no scales that assess self-stigma. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
Sometimes, relatives of children with autism experience feelings of guilt, abandonment and devaluation, as they tend to see themselves as the cause of their children’s illness. This causes social isolation and psychological discomfort. However, there are no scales that assess self-stigma. Therefore, the aim of the study is to show evidence of the validity and reliability of the Self-Stigma Scale in Relatives of People with Mental Illness in the Spanish context in relation to autism. A total of 287 progenitors participated in the study. For the validation and adaptation process, three confirmatory factor analyses, analysis of invariance across gender, reliability analysis and temporal stability, were carried out. The results revealed that the factor structure of the questionnaire was adequate, showing adequate levels of reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
Escape Rooms as a Learning Strategy for Special Education Master’s Degree Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147304 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1492
Abstract
Escape rooms and breakout are learning strategies that can facilitate motivation of learning through challenges. In these strategies, students must work as a team and use their reasoning, knowledge, and skills to solve puzzles and challenges related to the content of the curriculum, [...] Read more.
Escape rooms and breakout are learning strategies that can facilitate motivation of learning through challenges. In these strategies, students must work as a team and use their reasoning, knowledge, and skills to solve puzzles and challenges related to the content of the curriculum, allowing them to solve the game in a limited time. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of the implementation of an escape room on classroom flow, academic performance, school motivation, and prosocial and antisocial behaviours with higher students in a Special Education master’s degree course. The quantitative results show a significant improvement in classroom flow, academic performance, and classroom climate, and a better score in prosocial and antisocial behaviours. The qualitative findings provide a better understanding of these results, and support the conclusion that the use of escape rooms is fun and motivating for students, and facilitates their learning achievement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
Training and Profile of Special Olympics Portugal Coaches: Influence of Formal and Non-Formal Learning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126491 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Since coaches play an important role in the development of athletes, the process and mechanisms used by Special Olympics Portugal to develop coaches’ skills are worthy of research. In this context, the study aims to identify the training paths and profiles of the [...] Read more.
Since coaches play an important role in the development of athletes, the process and mechanisms used by Special Olympics Portugal to develop coaches’ skills are worthy of research. In this context, the study aims to identify the training paths and profiles of the Special Olympics Portugal coach. It also aims to analyze the relationship between formal and non-formal learning in the profile and training of this type of coach. The research is descriptive and transversal regarding Special Olympics Portugal coaches, with the participation of 50 subjects. Two questionnaires were used, the Coaches’ Training Profile Questionnaire to determine the training routes, and the Coaches’ Orientation Questionnaire. The results show that the Special Olympics Portugal coaches have an academic background and a somewhat critical profile. It is imperative to build formal and non-formal learning contexts that focus on the theme of adapted sports, in order to allow the training of more qualified coaches, who are consequently more effective in their interventions with this type of athlete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
Adaptation and Validation of the Eudaimonic Well-Being Questionnaire to the Spanish Sport Context
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073609 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 997
Abstract
Studies to date that have focused on the well-being of the athlete have been based on the hedonic point of view. However, there is a second point of view: eudemonia. Therefore, the present study aims to validate and adapt the Eudemonic Well-Being Scale [...] Read more.
Studies to date that have focused on the well-being of the athlete have been based on the hedonic point of view. However, there is a second point of view: eudemonia. Therefore, the present study aims to validate and adapt the Eudemonic Well-Being Scale to the sport context. The study involved 2487 from several sport clubs. Several confirmatory factor analyses were carried out and showed that the six-factor questionnaire was the one with the best fit indices. These results show that the scale is in relation to the original scale (from Spain) and to Waterman’s theoretical model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Article
An Inclusive View of the Disability of Secondary School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8922; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238922 - 30 Nov 2020
Viewed by 884
Abstract
Achieving the educational inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) is one of the significant challenges of the current Spanish educational system. This is a group of students with a high rate of bullying that leads to academic failure, as well as [...] Read more.
Achieving the educational inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) is one of the significant challenges of the current Spanish educational system. This is a group of students with a high rate of bullying that leads to academic failure, as well as significant psychological and social consequences. Despite the fact that the behaviours and psychological characteristics of their peers seem to influence the degree of inclusion, there is no detail on this subject. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence, psychological flexibility, prosocial behaviour and inclusive behaviour. To carry out this study, a sample of 642 students between the ages of 12 and 19 years old participated and answered four questionnaires, one for each variable under study. The relationships established were extracted from different statistical analyses and a hypothesised predictive model. The results obtained revealed that emotional intelligence is positively related to psychological flexibility and prosocial behaviour and that these, in turn, are positively related to the development of inclusive behaviour. Therefore, the importance of considering the variables under study during the teaching–learning processes carried out in the classroom is highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Review

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Review
Career Development of Adapted Sports Coaches: Systematic Review of Qualitative Evidence Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6608; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126608 - 19 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
This study aims to synthesize and understand the qualitative and empirical evidence previously published on adapted sports career development. This systematic literature review also aimed at developing a conceptual model of the training and career path of adapted sports coaches. The research was [...] Read more.
This study aims to synthesize and understand the qualitative and empirical evidence previously published on adapted sports career development. This systematic literature review also aimed at developing a conceptual model of the training and career path of adapted sports coaches. The research was carried out through the following databases: PubMed, Erid, EBSCO, Web of Science and Scopus. We selected nine qualitative studies according to the specific eligibility criteria. Data extraction was carried out independently by different authors, including the assessment of the methodological quality of the articles. We developed a conceptual model composed of four descriptive subjects (adapted sport option; perception of training athletes in adapted sports; development of the adapted sports coach’s learning; adapted sports coach reality) about the adapted sports coach’s pathway and added three analytical subjects about the difficulties, opportunity and reality of adapted sports. The conceptual model suggests inclusion of practical activity programs, the specificities of related contents with the adapted modalities, and observation in a real context are fundamental. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Review
Instruments to Assess Physical Activity in Primary Education Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094913 - 05 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
The scientific evidence supports that physical inactivity in childhood is a reality throughout the world which generates important consequences in the global development of children. Young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), due to the characteristics of the disorder they suffer, constitute a [...] Read more.
The scientific evidence supports that physical inactivity in childhood is a reality throughout the world which generates important consequences in the global development of children. Young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), due to the characteristics of the disorder they suffer, constitute a group at risk. Therefore, assessing the levels of physical activity (PA) in this group is fundamental for subsequent decision making and implementation of PA promotion programmes. Consequently, the aim of this systematic review was to identify, summarise and analyse the main instruments used to assess the levels of PA (in terms of time and/or intensity) in primary school children diagnosed with ASD. Scientific articles in English and Spanish published in five databases were reviewed: PsycINFO, WOS, SPORTDiscus, Scopus and PubMed, following the guidelines of the PRISMA statement. Out of the 605 articles identified, 12 met the previously established inclusion criteria. The instruments used by the studies analysed were divided into two main groups: accelerometers and questionnaires. Both showed different strengths and limitations but agreed on the low levels registered of PA in children with ASD. For this reason, it is considered necessary that further research be carried out in this field, as well as the development and implementation of sports programmes adjusted and adapted to the needs and characteristics of the ASD group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Review
Entrepreneurship and Sport: A Strategy for Social Inclusion and Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094720 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
The relationship between sport and entrepreneurship is an emerging but constantly evolving research field, especially in recent years. This is an extremely important topic considering its positive impact on public health, social inclusion, economic development, and the promotion of intercultural exchange. This study [...] Read more.
The relationship between sport and entrepreneurship is an emerging but constantly evolving research field, especially in recent years. This is an extremely important topic considering its positive impact on public health, social inclusion, economic development, and the promotion of intercultural exchange. This study has carried out a comprehensive and systematic review of literature on entrepreneurship and sport as tools for implementing social change. We used several bibliometric indicators in order to understand the current state of the literature, and scientific mapping analysis (keywords co-occurrence) to interpret the main theoretical areas of scientific interest. By searching the Scopus database, a total of 239 peer-reviewed articles were analyzed. The results showed the identification of six major recurring themes in the literature. For the purposes of our contribution, the recently developed line of research which considers sport as a tool for solving social problems through social change appears to be of particular importance. These data allow us to conclude that it is a highly multidisciplinary and active field. Suggestions for future lines of research and methodological limitations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Review
Adjusted Indirect and Mixed Comparisons of Interventions for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) of Disabled Adults: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052406 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
This systematic review adopted the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement (PRISMA) guidelines and used the method of network meta-analysis to compare the effects of different types of interventions from different perspectives which were abilities of daily life activity, psychological [...] Read more.
This systematic review adopted the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement (PRISMA) guidelines and used the method of network meta-analysis to compare the effects of different types of interventions from different perspectives which were abilities of daily life activity, psychological health, social functioning, and overall life quality. The eligibility criteria were: (1) Participants were adults above 18 years old with disabilities; (2) Interventions could be classified into active exercise, passive therapy, psychological education, psychosocial support program, multi-disciplinary program, and usual care; (3) Outcomes should be the patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) that could be classified into abilities of daily life activity, psychological health, social functioning, and overall life quality; (4) Randomized designed and published in English. The keywords and their search field were: (1) “people with disabilities/disability”, “disabled”, “handicapped”, or “disable people” in titles or abstracts; (2) AND “randomized” or “randomised” in titles or abstracts; (3) NOT “design”, “protocol”, or “review” in titles. After searching in databases of Medline (EBSCO), PubMed, CINAHL, and Ovid, 16 studies were included. As a result, active exercise and passive therapy are most likely to be the best interventions for overall life quality, psychological education and passive therapy are most likely to be the best interventions for abilities of daily life activity, and psychosocial support programs are most likely to be the best intervention for psychological health and social functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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Other

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Study Protocol
Emerging Qualitative Research Trends (2010–2021) on Sedentary Behaviour among Older Adults: A Systematic Literature Review Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111548 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 810
Abstract
In recent years, research on sedentary behaviour has increased. In this regard, there is a need for theoretical reviews that allow us to determine the past, analyse the present, and prepare the future of research in this field. The purpose of this review [...] Read more.
In recent years, research on sedentary behaviour has increased. In this regard, there is a need for theoretical reviews that allow us to determine the past, analyse the present, and prepare the future of research in this field. The purpose of this review paper was to analyse and organise the emerging qualitative research trends (2010–2021) on the sedentary behaviour of older adults. A systematic literature search strategy was developed in various electronic scientific databases (e.g., PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Scielo, and Scopus). The included studies were required to have different qualitative methodological approaches in terms of data collection and methods of data analysis. Studies conducted in any country and published in a peer-reviewed journal in English, Spanish, and Portuguese were considered. A thematic analysis approach was used for data extraction and synthesis, and confidence in the results was assessed using the GRADE-CERQual approach. This study may enable accurate guidelines to be established for future primary qualitative research related to sedentary behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
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