Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182691792
Research Article

The Psychosocial Benefits of an Inclusive Community-Based Aquatics Program

Oriel, Kathryn N. PT, EdD; Marchese, Victoria G. PT, PhD; Shirk, Ashley PT, DPT; Wagner, Lonni PT, DPT; Young, Emily PT, DPT; Miller, Laurie PT, DPT

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine the psychosocial effect of participation in an inclusive community-based aquatics program for children with and without disabilities.

Methods: Twenty-three participants completed an 8-week inclusive aquatics program. Quality of life, self-concept, and acceptance were measured using the PedsQL 4.0, Piers-Harris 2 Children's Self-Concept Scale, and Peer Sociometric Nomination Assessment (Friendship Questionnaire). Data were analyzed using a 2 × 2 analysis of variance with repeated measures.

Results: After the 8-week intervention, a statistically significant decrease was found on the School subsection of the PedsQL 4.0 for the children without disabilities, and in the happiness subsection of the Piers-Harris 2 for the children with disabilities. The Peer Sociometric Nomination Assessment showed a trend that children with disabilities received less negative peer nominations at posttest when compared with pretest.

Conclusion: Participation in an inclusive aquatics program may lead to improved acceptance of children with disabilities by their peers without disabilities.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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