The Effect of Adaptive Sports on Individuals with Acquired Neurological Disabilities and Its Role in Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2019 Dec;18(12):458-473. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000662.


The aims of this systematic review were to report on the feasibility of adaptive sports for individuals with acquired central neurological lesion; to analyze the effects of this approach according to the domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability (ICF); and to emit guiding points for future research. Two authors searched PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, Pedro, and SPORTdiscus for eligible trials. Data concerning demographics, outcome measures, results, and conclusions were extracted, and a qualitative synthesis was performed. Adaptive sports seem to be a feasible, efficient, and cost-effective complement to conventional rehabilitation. Significant effects were found on all domains of the ICF, except "environmental factors." Key factors, such as intervention volume, intensity, and type, play a determining role. This review is the first to expose the beneficial effects of adaptive sports practice among individuals with neurological lesions by relying on prospective evidence.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sports for Persons with Disabilities*