A scoping review of parasport classificaiton resources


While classification, or the organizing of individuals for competition based on their functional ability, is integral to parasport (Sherrill, 1999), extant research suggests parasport stakeholders, including athletes and coaches, have limited knowledge of the classification process (Birchall et al., In Preparation; Lawson et al., 2020; Van Dornick & Spencer, 2019). Moreover, little is known about what resources are available to teach stakeholders about classification. This study purposed to review and describe current resources pertaining to parasport classification available online. We completed a Google search using emulating that of a typical internet user (Bhatnagar & Ghose, 2004). The quality of each resource identified was assessed using the Journal of the American Medical Association's (JAMA) benchmarks of technical quality (Silberg et al., 1997). The search yielded 342 unique resources. All resources included authorship information while 69% included a publication or upload date. Only 55% of resources included references and less than 1% included an explicit statement of disclosure. Meanwhile, 92% of resources were endorsed by a national or international sport organization and 90% included contact information. These preliminary results provide evidence for the utility of the JAMA benchmarks in assessing the technical quality of online parasport classification resources. Future directions include expanding the search to include academic articles, coding resources according to type (following the example of Lefebvre et al., 2017), and identifying the behaviour change techniques embedded within each resource (Michie et al., 2013). These findings will enhance our understanding of the parasport landscape and may inform future educational interventions.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate Program.