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Environment-based approaches to improve participation of young people with physical disabilities during COVID-19

This study examined the effects of the Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation (PREP) intervention on participation (performance of and satisfaction with youth-chosen leisure activities) and motor, cognitive, and affective body-function outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-one young people aged 16 to 25 with physical disabilities engaged in an 8-week self-chosen activity (e.g., badminton, piano, photography). Each participant had multiple observations on participation and body function outcomes throughout the study, with varying baseline periods.

Results indicate that the PREP intervention led to clinically significant improvements in activity performance and satisfaction of youth, with large effects. The intervention was effective for all youth, but those without mental health problems showed greater changes. In addition, ten youth improved in at least one body function (not targeted by the intervention), especially motor-related outcomes (e.g., reaching, strength, trunk control). Findings show that environment-based interventions improve participation even during adverse times, and that benefits may extend beyond participation to outcomes at the body-function level.

For more information, read the full manuscript, have a listen to the DMCN podcast, or see the graphical abstract below:

Authors: Dana R. Anaby, Lisa Avery, Robert J. Palisano, Mindy F. Levin, Pranamika Khayargoli, Yu-Hsin Hsieh, Jan Willem Gorter, Rachel Teplicky, BEYOND Consultant Team

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