Well-being, health and fitness of children who use wheelchairs: Feasibility study protocol to develop child-centred ‘keep-fit’ exercise interventions

Authors


Correspondence to T.D. O'Brien:

e-mail: thomas.obrien@bangor.ac.uk

Abstract

Aim

To undertake the pre-clinical and modelling phases of the Medical Research Council complex intervention framework to underpin development of child-centred ‘keep-fit’, exercise and physical activity interventions for children and young people who use wheelchairs.

Background

Children who use wheelchairs face many barriers to participation in physical activity, which compromises fitness, obesity, well-being and health. ‘Keep-fit’ programmes that are child-centred and engaging are urgently required to enhance participation of disabled children and their families as part of a healthy lifestyle. Nurses will likely be important in promoting and monitoring ‘keep-fit’ intervention(s) when implemented in the community.

Design

Mixed-method (including economic analysis) feasibility study to capture child and family preferences and keep-fit needs and to determine outcome measures for a ‘keep-fit’ intervention.

Methods

The study comprises three stages. Stage 1 includes a mixed-method systematic review of effectiveness, cost effectiveness and key stakeholder views and experiences of keep-fit interventions, followed by qualitative interviews with children, young people and their parents to explore preferences and motivations for physical activity. Stage 2 will identify standardized outcome measures and test their application with children who use wheelchairs to obtain baseline fitness data. Options for an exercise-based keep-fit intervention will then be designed based on Stage 1 and 2 findings. In stage 3, we will present intervention options for feedback and further refinement to children and parents/carers in focus groups. (Project funded October 2012).

Discussion

At completion, this study will lead to the design of the intervention and a protocol to test its efficacy.

Ancillary