Journal of Physical Activity & Health
Original Item ID
Background: The aims of this review were to describe exercise interventions, facilitators, and barriers to physical activity for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature, appraising the validity of each article with Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt’s level of evidence, from different databases CINAHL, Cochrane, PsycINFO, PubMed, ProQuest, and Web of Science between 2000 and 2020 was conducted. As the initial search revealed no articles on exercise interventions and only 2 articles with children with autism spectrum disorder, the aim was widened to all parents of children.
Results: Forty-five articles were identified on barriers to physical activity including being the primary caregiving parent, perception of guilt and selfishness, and adhering to exercise programs they do as part of research, once research ends. Facilitators for physical activity including parents being more likely to exercise if they can bring their child with them and parents preferring exercise that is a lifelong habit, such as walking.
Conclusions: Due to the lack of research on parents of children with autism spectrum disorder, recommendations include development and testing of interventions for parents of children with this condition including family-based exercise interventions where children and parents have a choice to exercise together.
Johnson, Norah L.; Bekhet, Abir K.; Sawdy, Rachel; Zint, Emily; Wang, June; Pena, Sylvia; Zurcher, Hannah; and Enea, Nina, "Parent Physical Activity: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2022). College of Nursing Faculty Research and Publications. 924.
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