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Physical activity in the life of a woman with cerebral palsy: physiotherapy, social exclusion, competence, and intimacy

Gaskin, Cadeyrn J and Andersen, Mark B and Morris, Tony (2012) Physical activity in the life of a woman with cerebral palsy: physiotherapy, social exclusion, competence, and intimacy. Disability and Society, 27 (2). pp. 205-218. ISSN 0968-7599 (print), 1360-0508 (online)

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Although physical activity can have substantial mental and physical health benefits, people with cerebral palsy usually lead sedentary lives. To understand, at an individual level, this inactivity, we interviewed a 29-year-old minimally active woman with cerebral palsy (Alana) about the meanings and experiences of physical activity throughout her life. Using a case-study approach, we found that Alana had adverse childhood experiences with physical activity, including: having to perform difficult, and sometimes painful, physiotherapy; wearing callipers to assist her walking; demonstrating limited competence at physical activity; being excluded from physical education and other organised physical activity at school; and feeling socially isolated from her classmates. These experiences seemed to contribute to feelings of difference/inferiority and the subsequent avoidance of physical activity, which, in turn, might have contributed to premature functional decline. Physical activity levels in people with cerebral palsy might be increased through focusing on enhancing childhood experiences.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID25769, cerebral palsy, disability, exercise, physical activity, physical therapy, psychosocial issues, adolescence, psychology, social relationships
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Yimin Zeng
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 01:57
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2014 04:20
DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2011.644931
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Citations in Scopus: 0 - View on Scopus

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