Determining the efficacy of an assisted workout program for university students with disabilities Ð A case series.

Background & Purpose : University students with physical disabilities often encounter barriers to physical activity. Individuals between the ages 18-30 with disabilities are less physically active than their able-bodied peers. Through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, high school students with disabilities have access to adaptive physical education and other services. However, many of these students who enter college become too old to meet eligibility for such services. The University of Central Florida Recreation and Wellness Center in collaboration with doctoral students from the program in Physical Therapy have developed the Student Assisted Workout Program (SAWP), which aims to increase physical activity of students with disabilities. This case series examined the impact of the SAWP on quality of life and function among university students with disabilities. Specifically, this series included students with diagnoses of autoimmune disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, and visual impairment.Case Description : This case series was a retrospective analysis and review of outcome measures for 12 subjects participating in SAWP, including males and females of varied ambulatory and functional status. Measures of analysis included the 10 rep max chest press, 10 rep max leg press, 6-minute walk test, 5-minute wheel test, VO2 max, modified functional reach, WHO-QOL BREF and SF-36 as appropriate. The SAWP program routinely collected every 6-8 weeks and was analyzed via SPSS using Pearson correlation coefficient with acceptable alpha value of 0.05.Outcomes : A review of outcome measures revealed increases in quality of life, strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health though few of the relationships reached statistical significance. A significant correlation was reached between length of participation in the SAWP and initial SF-36 scores for the vitality and general health subscales. SF-36 physical composite scores were 44.5 + 12.1 and mental composite scores were 56.3 + 9.3, which were similar to scores of able bodied populations based on normative data.Discussion : This small sample revealed that the SAWP has a positive impact on university students with disabilities with regards to quality of life and function. Composite scores of the SF-36 from this study parallels data from published research using similar cohorts. The current findings of this study warrant further investigation. Future studies would benefit from greater sample size, a true control group, and quality of life measures that are more applicable to students with disabilities in a university setting.

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  • Control #: 2020012
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Kevin Nagel, Zach Hollis, Lydia Picard, Jennifer E. Tucker, Patrick Pabian
  • Keywords: students with disabilities|assisted workout|quality of life

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