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Fadaei Dehcheshmeh M, Shamsi Majelan A. Comparing the Quality of Life in Intellectually-Disabled Males with and Without Special Olympics Iran Attendance Experience. mejds. 2020; 10 :59-59
URL: http://jdisabilstud.org/article-1-1378-en.html
1- University of Guilan
Abstract:   (762 Views)
Background & Objectives: People with Intellectual Disability (ID) have negative experiences and unpleasant emotions due to the barriers in lives, i.e., affect their life satisfaction and Quality of Life (QoL). Regular physical activity seems to improve the QoL and health status in people with IDs. Access for people with IDs to organized sports is limited. One of the programs that can partly eliminate barriers to the participation of this group is the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is the largest recreational/sports activities event for people with IDs worldwide. Part of the Special Olympics mission is improving and developing the physical fitness and overall health of these people. The Special Olympics, with the help of sports, significantly affects the lives of people with IDs, their families, and society. Besides, it has biopsychological benefits for the participants. The present study aimed to assess the QoL of males with ID who participated in the Special Olympics Iran and comparing them to their counterparts without such experience. 
Methods: This study was a descriptive–analytical study conducted cross–sectionally. The research sample included 138 males with ID. The selected samples were divided into two groups of athletes (40 males with ID without Down syndrome and 30 males with Down syndrome). The study participants’ mean±SD age was 21.95 height was 1.65 and their weight was 67.7913.49 kg. The same values for the non–athletes were as follows: (45 males with ID without Down syndrome and 23 males with Down syndrome) mean±SD age: 20.63 height: 1.65and weight: 65.48 19.10 kg. Schalock’s and Keith’s (1993) Quality of Life Questionnaire was used to assess the QoL of the study participants. This questionnaire has 40 questions; 10 questions have been set in 4 components. The components of the questionnaire include satisfaction, competence/productivity, empowerment/independence, and social belonging/community integration. Moreover, the total score of the Quality of Life is calculated using this scale. The obtained data were analyzed using Independent Samples t–test and Mann–Whitney U test in SPSS at a significance level of α=0.05. 
Results: There was a significant difference between the athletes and non–athletes with and without Down syndrome in all of the investigated components (satisfaction, p=0.017; competence/productivity, p=0.023; empowerment/independence, p=0.011; social belonging/community integration, p=0.001; and the total QoL score, p=0.001). There was a significant difference between the athletes and non–athletes with and without Down syndrome in the components of empowerment/independence (p=0.025), social belonging/community integration (p=0.001), and the total QoL score (p=0.001). Furthermore, there was a significant difference between the athlete and non–athletes with Down syndrome in the components of satisfaction (p=0.047), competence/productivity (p=0.031), social belonging/community integration (p=0.012), and the total QoL score (p=0.010).
Conclusion: According to the obtained study results, attending the Special Olympics Iran positively improved the QoL in people with IDs. The goal is to educate people with IDs, prepare them for social life, and train them with the essential skills for having an independent life with minimal dependence. Mobility and physical activity could significantly influence peoplechr('39')s lives and are related to psychosocial findings.
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Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Rehabilitation
Received: 2019/02/3 | Accepted: 2019/03/13

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