Publication: Physical activity intention and attendance behaviour in Finnish youth with cerebral palsy

Research Impact:  Adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) need tailored programmes to improve levels of physical activity, to build motor competences, confidence and motivation for general physical literacy. In addition to the therapeutic care they may receive, the individuals may benefit for other personalised interventions to increase behavioural physical activity. One intervention programme in Finland tried to identify physical activity programmes among adolescents with CP, but there are challenges in Adapted Physical Activity programmes in that there are small numbers for group exercises and functional difficulties that may limit types of movement.

According to the theory of Planned Behaviour, intention to take part in an behavioural intervention is a starting point to sustainable physical activity behaviours. A small cohort of Finnish adolescents with CP were recruited, with data taken based on the theory of Planned Behaviour to participate in physical activity intervention. Based on the results, subjective norms were the only statistically significant predictor for taking part in the intervention. In other words, If the intervention is consider a normalises activity, the individuals would continue and sustain their participation. This could be due to the regular attendance to therapeutic care. Attitudes and perceived behavioural control were not statistical significant predictors, and this may be due to the small sample size. More studies of this nature are needed to confirm these results. The findings of this study can help understand recruitment and intervention retention strategies for adolescents with CP.

Ruiz, A., Ng, K., Rintala, P., Kaseva, K. and Finni, T., 2021. Physical activity intention and attendance behaviour in Finnish youth with cerebral palsy–results from a physical activity intervention: an application of the theory of planned behaviour. JER17(6), pp.370-378.  

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