Content » Vol 48, Issue 1

Original report

Sports participation after rehabilitation: Barriers and facilitators

Eva A. Jaarsma, Rienk Dekker, Jan H.B. Geertzen, Pieter Dijkstra
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Rehabilitation, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, CB41, PO Box 30.0001, NL-9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands. E-mail:,
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2017


Objective: To analyse barriers to, and facilitators of, sports participation among people with physical disabilities after rehabilitation and to compare differences between inactive and active participants regarding these experienced barriers and facilitators.
Methods: Participants were 1,223 adults (mean age 51. 6 years, standard deviation 15. 1 years) treated in the Rehabilitation Centre of the University Medical Center Groningen, who completed a questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of a self-constructed questionnaire regarding barriers and facilitators.
Results: Fifty-eight percent of the participants were active in sports after their rehabilitation. Younger age and a higher level of education were positively associated with sports participation, whereas using assistive devices and experiencing environmental barriers were negatively associated. Facilitators of sports participation were health, fun and increasing physical strength, and advice from rehabilitation professionals.
Conclusion: Rehabilitation professionals should emphasize the health benefits of, and enjoyment from, sports participation for people with physical disabilities. They should repeatedly remind people with physical disabilities to stay/become active after completing their rehabilitation programme. Rehabilitation professionals should also provide information about strategies to reduce environmental barriers to sports participation, which could help people using assistive devices to overcome these barriers.

Lay Abstract

Supplementary content


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.