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MR Giornale Italiano di Medicina Riabilitativa 2010 February;24(1):45-54


language: Italian

Il rugby in carrozzina: formulazione di un protocollo di rieducazione funzionale sportiva dei soggetti mielolesi

Ottaviani T., Morganti B., Fletzer D. A.

Centro Paraplegici Ostia - Roma, Italia


Aim of the study was to correlate the practice of wheelchair rugby with the level of independence in daily life activities, therefore
highlighting the importance of sport rehabilitation in the rehabilitative program of the patients with SCI.
Patients and methods: The study involved two groups of patients, each made of ten male patients with SCI. before the beginning
of the study patients of both groups underwent standard rehabilitation in order to insure the functional levels to be
included in a sport rehabilitation program.
Group A patients added to their rehabilitation program the practice of wheelchair rugby, whereas Group B patients acted as
The evaluation was made by means of:
the Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) to evaluate the level of independence o –– f the patients;
–– the Short Form Questionnaire (SF-36) to evaluate the impact of the disability on daily life activities and relationship status.
Patients attitude to wheelchair rugby practice was evaluated by means of the “Beck Battery Quad Rugby” which is a scale validated
scale to evaluate rugby performances.
Furthermore we evaluated the aerobic capacity of the subjects on a 300 meters track test.
Results: All Group A patients showed significant improvements in the SCIM scores, in the Beck Battery Quad Rugby and in the
SF36. these improvements were always higher than the improvements of Group B patients.
Discussion: The results of the study clearly demonstrated that the sport rehabilitation program positively influenced the status
of the patients, not only with regard to the physical status, but also with regard to the psychological one and to the relationship capacity. The aspect which was more influenced by the sport program was the capacity of moving in the wheelchair which is clearly a fundamental improvement for patients with SCI, allowing them to move better in crowded places and to avoid obstacles and other people. Worthy to note patients who practiced rugby higher scores of the SF36, denoting a better self esteem and a higher perception of efficiency while facing daily life, despite the level of disability.
Conclusions: The results of the study demonstrated our hypothesi that a sport functional rehabilitation improves the independence
of patients in daily life activities, thus decreasing the burden of care of the families and increasing the perception of
health status of the patients.

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