Adaptive Shooting Disciplines: A Scoping Review of the Literature with Bibliometric Analysis

Healthcare (Basel). 2024 Feb 12;12(4):463. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12040463.


Para-archery and para-shooting, two very popular adaptive shooting disciplines that have earned their place as major official events in the Paralympic Games, share some similarities, as well as distinctive features in terms of rules, physiological requirements, and equipment used. The International Paralympic Committee has a clear responsibility to ensure that all sports within its jurisdiction, including adaptive shooting, can achieve excellence in their respective fields. To achieve this, the conduct of well-designed studies and rigorous research is essential. Although some research has been conducted in this area, a comprehensive and systematic evaluation is still needed. Therefore, the present study aims to provide a thorough review and synthesis of existing research on adaptive shooting disciplines, identify strengths and gaps, and suggest future directions. Arksey and O'Malley's methodology is leveraged and enhanced with bibliometric and policy analyses to review literature on adaptive shooting. Databases like PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, OvidSP, and EMBASE were searched, focusing on studies in adaptive shooting disciplines and analysing these findings through a blend of thematic and statistical methods. Twenty-four studies totalling 483 para-athletes (299 para-shooters and 184 para-archers) are included in this scoping review, focusing on a range of aspects, including physiological responses (n = 9), research design and measurement methods for evidence-based classification (n = 6), biopsychosocial aspects (n = 3), development of new methods and technologies (n = 4), kinematic and biomechanical assessment (n = 1), and epidemiology of injuries (n = 1). Seven articles focused exclusively on para-archery, thirteen exclusively on para-shooting, and four on both para-archery and para-shooting. In conclusion, the available literature on adaptive shooting disciplines is still very limited, especially regarding para-archery compared to para-shooting. This highlights the need for further research in many key areas to ensure a better understanding of the different disciplines and to provide appropriate support for para-athletes. Future research in para-archery and para-shooting should focus on technological innovations, biomechanical studies, and psychological support to enhance athlete performance and accessibility. Addressing the imbalance between the two disciplines, along with injury prevention and global participation, can drive the sports towards greater inclusivity and equity for para-athletes worldwide.

Keywords: biomechanical assessment; evidence-based classification; injuries; kinematic assessment; para-archery; para-shooting; physiological responses.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.