Main Article Content

A systematic review of recreation patterns and preferences of students with physical disabilities

Simone Titus
Marié E.M. Young
Kenrique Nassen
Semone A. Ownhouse


Students with physical disabilities at higher education institutions are often excluded from recreational activities due to lack of appropriate inclusive integration programmes. This study systematically reviewed literature that identified recreational patterns and preferences of students with physical disabilities to provide recommendations for their recreational programmes. Articles were reviewed using Ebscohost (Medline, CINAHL, PsyArticles, Academic Search Complete), LANCET, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Project Muse, BioMed Central Journal, JSTOR, Google Scholar and Sports Discus databases for the period 1997 to 2014. Articles extracted comprised qualitative, quantitative and mixed method studies that met level three on the JBI level of evidence scale. Articles that were favourably rated for methodological quality by two reviewers were included. The articles were methodologically appraised using a modified CASP instrument. A total number of 426 821 articles were identified, of which 90 were selected for further investigation whilst 69 were excluded after the first review and a further three following evaluation of methodological quality. Thus, 18 articles were included. There was a lack of recreational programmes available for students with physical disabilities. Opportunities for recreation for disabled students should be provided. There was a need for suitable holistic campus recreational programmes at universities.

Key words: Physical disabilities; Mobile impairments; Recreation; Students; Inclusivity; JBI (Joanna Briggs Institute) Scale.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2960-2386
print ISSN: 0379-9069