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Looking at barriers and facilitators to physical activity among rural adolescents with cerebral palsy.

The purpose of this study was to use a qualitative, community-based participatory action research method – Photovoice – to identify perceived facilitators and barriers to physical activity among adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) in a rural community.

Fifteen participants including adolescents with CP and parents were included in this study. The researchers followed the nine-step methodology recommended for Photovoice. During the training session, participants completed versions of the Barriers to Physical Activity Questionnaire for People with Mobility Impairments. This questionnaire was used to generate descriptive information about participant barriers and facilitators. Participants were given 14 days to take photographs after which researchers used in-depth and focus group interviews structured by the SHOWeD method. Content analysis of transcripts was used to identify common themes.

Photographs and accompanying text were presented to local stakeholders and an action plan to increase physical activity for adolescents with CP was created. Perceived barriers included lack of inclusiveness, family isolation, and limited accessibility of equipment and resources. Facilitators included support services for families and adaptive sport leagues. Photovoice serves as a powerful tool to initiate change to promote physical activity among rural adolescents with CP.

Using participatory action research to examine barriers and facilitators to physical activity among rural adolescents with cerebral palsy” was recently published in Disability and Rehabilitation.

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