242300 Empowered by Power Soccer: Improving the health and quality of life of electric wheelchair users through involvement in a competitive team sport

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Michael Jeffress, ABD , Mass Communication Department, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA
This study combines data from interviews and an online survey of over 300 athletes across the United States who participate in power soccer--the first ever competitive team sport for electric wheelchair users. An abundance of historical, cultural, and social factors coalesce to an expectation that American youth should participate in sports. A host of studies published in the past three decades calls for increased sports participation because of varied physical and psychosocial benefits. The results of this study indicate that electric wheelchair users receive the same benefits through their participation in power soccer as athletes in able-bodied sports. This study equips public health professionals and social workers with valuable information regarding a little known sport that can enhance the health and quality of life in the families they serve. It also demonstrates the need for advocacy work to increase funding for research and promotion of the sport beyond the 60 regional teams across the United States primarily located in the areas of San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN; and Baltimore, MD.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the development and list five health benefits of participation in the disability sport of power soccer.

Keywords: Disability Studies, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am A.B.D. toward my Ph.D. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Health Communication and an instructor at Nicholls State University. I have been researching the subject of my proposal for over four years throughout the United States.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.