Parent and clinician perspectives on the participation of children with cerebral palsy in community-based football: a qualitative exploration in a regional setting

Carmel Sivaratnam, Katherine Howells, Nicole Stefanac, Kelly Reynolds, Nicole Rinehart

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The current study aimed to qualitatively explore parent and clinician perspectives on the factors influencing participation in a community-based Australian-Rules Football program for five to 12-year-old children with cerebral palsy (CP) in a regional setting. Six allied-health clinicians and two parents of children with CP participated in focus groups exploring factors influencing participation. Thematic analysis indicated seven key factors influencing participation—of which, six were environmental factors and one was related to child characteristics. Environmental factors included resources, communication, knowledge and previous experience, attitudes and expectations, game factors and community relevance. Child characteristics included age, preferences, confidence, as well and cognitive and physical functioning. Notwithstanding limitations, the current study highlights the central role of ‘people factors’ in the child’s environment, in facilitating participation in community-based physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1102
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Community participation
  • Physical activity

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