Physical activity levels and participation in sport in Irish people with haemophilia


Ms Emma Sherlock, Physiotherapy Department, St. James’s Hospital, James’s St., Dublin 8, Ireland.
Tel.: +353 1 416 2503; fax: +353 1 416 2497;


Summary.  Physical activity and sport are associated with a range of health and social benefits. The aim of this study was to assess the level of sports participation and physical activity of Irish people with haemophilia (PWH). A questionnaire was administered to Irish PWH attending the National Centre for Hereditary Coagulation Disorders over a 3-month period. This included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the Haemophilia Activities List (HAL). Comparisons with EU average data from European Physical Activity Surveillance System for physical activity scores (IPAQ) were made using independent t-tests and percentage variance. Relationships between age, functional limitation (based on HAL) and IPAQ scores were tested with Pearson’s correlation. Sixty-one questionnaires were completed, representing 12% of the Irish haemophilia population. Age ranged from 16 to 63; all levels of severity were included. Forty-six percent of Irish PWH achieved a high level of physical activity, but overall physical activity [total metabolic equivalents of task (MET) min] in the group was only 66% of the EU average. Elderly patients and those with more functional limitations (with lower HAL scores) were significantly less active. Sports participation levels were in line with other PWH at 66%. Although 55% reported bleeds resulting from sport and 31% reported having had a significant injury attributable to sport, overall sport was viewed in a positive light. Irish PWH are physically active and play a wide range of sports. Further efforts are needed to achieve optimal safety and to ensure that maximum benefit is gained.