Strength training can be enjoyable and beneficial for adults with cerebral palsy Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • PURPOSE: To explore the positive and negative perceptions of participating in a strength- training programme for adults with cerebral palsy. METHOD: Ten adults aged over 40 years with cerebral palsy participated in a group-based 10-week progressive resistance strength-training programme in a community gymnasium. After the programme, each participant was interviewed using an in-depth semi-structured format and the results coded thematically. RESULTS: Participants perceived that their strength, and ability to perform everyday activities had improved. However, the main benefit for participants was enjoyment and social interaction. The only negative perceptions related to fatigue, short-term muscle soreness and a feeling that they had not improved as much as they had expected. CONCLUSIONS: Enjoyment, a factor that can promote adherence and sustainability, was a key benefit of this strength-training programme for adults with cerebral palsy that led to perceptions of increased strength and physical functioning. These findings suggest that exercise programmes for adults with cerebral palsy should be conducted in a group in the community, thereby promoting community inclusion. In addition, it is important to provide education to participants about the normal responses and expectations of an exercise programme.

publication date

  • October 7, 2004