A systematic scoping review: Resources targeting the training and education of health and recreation practitioners to support physical activity among people with physical disabilities


Persons with physical disabilities (PWPD) do not engage in adequate leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). Support from health and recreation practitioners can increase LTPA among PWPD. Unfortunately, many practitioners have poor attitudes toward LTPA for PWPD, and lack confidence and motivation to support LTPA for PWPD. Poor attitudes, confidence and motivation among practitioners may be the result of a lack of training and education necessary to provide practitioners with the basic knowledge, skills and resources required to support LTPA among PWPD. Little is known about existing LTPA information and training resources targeting health and recreation professionals, and there has been no known systematic effort to collect current resources. This study served to identify educational tools and resources that target the training of practitioners working with PWPD in LTPA settings. Searches of academic and grey literature, online materials and expert consultation were performed using systematic scoping review methodologies. Identified resources were then assessed for technical quality. Several resources (N=46) of high technical quality from academic, government, non-government and professional organizations were identified. Most resources indicated a target PWPD population (78%) but few clearly specified a practitioner group (37%). The review provides a listing of existing resources while acting as a foundation for further research regarding the analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation of optimally effective tools targeting professionals to encourage LTPA among PWPD. Further research is necessary to identify and inform optimally designed resources that enhance practitioners' attitudes, confidence, motivation toward LTPA for PWPD through improved knowledge and skills.