Online Program

Depressive Symptoms and Functional Status in Wheelchair Rugby Athletes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Stephanie Silveira, B. S., Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Tracey Ledoux, Ph.D., Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Daphne Hernandez, PhD, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Michael Cottingham, Ph.D., Adaptive Athletics, University of Houston, Houston, TX
In the United States today there are approximately 273,000 people living with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Individuals in wheelchairs often engage in poor health behaviors and are less physically active.  Physical activity, particularly team sports, have been shown to improve psychological health in persons with disabilities.  Depressive symptomology has linked to functional status in SCI in which depression is more common in individuals who are lower functioning. We hypothesized that in wheelchair rugby athletes there would be no differences in depression scores by functional status due to involvement in a team sport. A cross-sectional research study was conducted in a national sample of 76 wheelchair rugby athletes with functional status defined by rugby classification and depression status defined by the CES-D 10.  Additional measures of functional status were collected to verify disability classification including use of arms and legs, SCI or non-SCI, and spinal cord injury level. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographics factors and univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square analyses were used to address the research hypothesis. No significant correlations were find between CES-D scores or functional status and demographics. There was no significant relationship found between CES-D scores and any measure of functional status [F(1, 74) = .0362, p =0.549].  Overall, in a sample of male wheelchair rugby athletes there was no relationship between functional status and depression, though this relationship is apparent in general SCI populations.  Future research should further examine if participation in team sports may be protective against depressive symptomology following SCI.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the relationship between functional status and depression in wheelchair rugby athletes.

Keyword(s): Depression, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have managed and conducted several cross-sectional and intervention-based research studies as a graduate and undergraduate research assistant in the domains of psychology and health. Among my scientific interests has been furthering our understanding of obesity in persons with disabilities.
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.