BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to analyse sports participation of individuals with upper limb deficiency (ULD) and associated factors.
METHODS: Individuals with ULD originating from the Netherlands were invited, via their attending physiatrist or prosthetist, to answer a digital or paper questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of 34 items related to personal characteristics, type of deficiency and participation in sports.
RESULTS: Of the 175 respondents, 57% participated in sports for at least 60 min/week (athletes). Results of logistic regression analyses indicated that the presence of an additional health problem hindering sports participation (β=-1.31, p<0.001) and a more proximal onset of the limb deficiency (β=0.76, p=0.022) had a negative influence on sports participation. For individuals with an acquired ULD, a medium education level (β=0 0.77, p=0.108) and participation in sports before their amputation (β=1.11, p=0.007) had a positive influence on sports participation. The desire to stay healthy and the pleasure derived from sports participation represented the main reasons for participation in sports according to athletes. The presence of an additional medical problem and a lack of motivation were reasons for non-athletes to not participate in sports.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of individuals with ULD participate in sports regularly. The presence of an additional medical problem, as well as the level of ULD, educational level and participation in sports before amputation, was related to participation in sports.