Original Article

Spinal Cord advance online publication 16 May 2017; doi: 10.1038/sc.2017.40

Association among practice frequency on depression and stress among competitive US male wheelchair rugby athletes with tetraplegia

S L Silveira1, T Ledoux1, M Cottingham1,2 and D C Hernandez1

  1. 1Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
  2. 2Adaptive Athletics, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence: SL Silveira, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, 3875 Holman St Rm 104 Garrison, Houston, TX 77204, USA. E-mail: slsilvei@central.uh.edu

Received 2 September 2016; Revised 26 March 2017; Accepted 28 March 2017
Advance online publication 16 May 2017



Study Design:





To determine whether frequency of training is related to self-reported lower psychological distress, defined as depressive symptomology and perceived stress, among the US male wheelchair rugby athletes with tetraplegia.



United States.



Survey data were collected on a convenience sample at wheelchair rugby tournaments from January–April 2016. Participants self-reported depressive symptomology (CES-D-10), perceived stress scale (PSS), and frequency of rugby practice. Covariate-adjusted regression models were conducted among the full sample and a subsample of individuals who reported spinal cord injury (SCI) as the nature of their disability.



Participants included 150 males with tetraplegia, and 87% identified the nature of their disability as SCI. Participants were primarily Caucasian with an average age of ~35 years. Participants scored low on measures of depressive symptomology (mean=5.63; s.d.=4.35) and perceived stress (mean=4.63; s.d.=2.73). Sixty-seven percent of the participants practiced two or more times per week. Results of the main analyses indicated that practicing wheelchair rugby two times or more (compared to once a week or less) was significantly associated with lower depressive symptomology and perceived stress among the full sample and subsample of individuals with SCI.



Greater frequency of wheelchair rugby participation was associated with lower levels of psychological distress. Future research should examine the directional and mechanistic relationship between frequency of sports participation and psychological distress to inform the benefits of adaptive sport.

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