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Background: Facilitating participation in physical recreation among children with disability is an increasingly important aim of paediatric rehabilitation. Aim: To compare the extent (diversity and frequency), context (where and companionship), experience (enjoyment) and preference for participation in physical recreation activities outside-of-school between children with disability and children with typical development. Methods and procedures: One hundred and sixty-three children with physical, intellectual, sensory or multiple disabilities (67 girls; mean age 10.8 yr) were matched with 163 children with typical development for age, sex, geographical location and socioeconomic status. Participation in 16 physical recreation activities (including walking, cycling, team sports) was compared between these two groups using non-parametric statistics and relative risk ratios. Outcomes and results: There were significant differences between the groups in 14 activities. A lower percentage of children with disability reported participating in 5 physical recreation activities. A higher percentage of children with disability reported not participating in their preferred activities. Children with disability were less likely to participate on their own in some day-to-day physical recreation activities such as walking and cycling. Conclusions and implications: Differences between the groups related to the context (companionship) and preference for participation. Understanding and addressing these differences may enhance participation among children with disability.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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