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  • Author: Joanna Sobiecka x
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Abstract

Medical care in disabled sports is crucial both as prophylaxis and as ongoing medical intervention. The aim of this paper was to present changes in the quality of medical care over the consecutive Paralympic Games (PG). The study encompassed 31 paralympians: Turin (11), Vancouver (12), and Sochi (8) competing in cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, biathlon and snowboarding. The first, questionnaire-based, part of the study was conducted in Poland before the PG. The athletes assessed the quality of care provided by physicians, physiologists, dieticians, and physiotherapists, as well as their cooperation with the massage therapist and the psychologist. The other part of the study concerned the athletes’ health before leaving for the PG, as well as their diseases and injuries during the PG. The quality of medical care was poor before the 2006 PG, but satisfactory before the subsequent PG. Only few athletes made use of psychological support, assessing it as poor before the 2006 PG and satisfactory before the 2010 and 2014 PG. The athletes’ health condition was good during all PG. The health status of cross-country skiers was confirmed by a medical fitness certificate before all PG, while that of alpine skiers only before the 2014 PG. There were no serious diseases; training injuries precluded two athletes from participation. The quality of medical care before the PG was poor, however, became satisfactory during the actual PG. The resulting ad hoc pattern deviates from the accepted standards in medical care in disabled sports.

Abstract

The quality of training conditions affects sporting success, injuries and health. The aim of the work was to present the conditions during the preparations of Polish athletes for the Summer Paralympic Games 2004-2012. The study encompassed 271 paralympians: Athens (91), Beijing (89) and London (91), competing in 13 disciplines. The research was based on a two-part questionnaire by Kłodecka-Różalska adjusted for disabled sports, and was conducted one month before each PG. Part 1 contained 20 closed-ended questions regarding conditions during preparations, while Part 2 concerned socio-demographic and sports-related data. Three levels of conditions: good, satisfactory and poor, were identified. The analysis showed that while the relationships between the athletes were good in all the preparatory periods, the co-operation with the paralympic coaches worsened. The standards of accommodation, food and sports facilities lowered. Personal orthopaedic supply was satisfactory in London; personal sporting equipment was good at all PG. The quality of medical care was the highest in London. The co-operation with physicians, physiotherapists and massage therapists was satisfactory. Consultations with the dietician were sporadic and assessed as poor. Psychological consultations were rare but satisfactory in Beijing and London. Contacts with the mass media were poor at all PG. Although combining private life, work, and education with sport was satisfactory, it was increasingly difficult to manage, particularly before London. The conditions during preparations for the PG 2004-2012 varied. Improvement was noticed only in the quality of medical care and personal orthopaedic supply.

Conditions for preparations for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in the opinion of the Polish national team

Study aim: To evaluate the process of preparing Polish athletes with disabilities for the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympic Games.

Material and methods: The study included 31 women and 58 men representing 11 Paralympic disciplines, accounting for 97.8% of the Polish team taking part in the games. The average age was 32 years; the average amount of experience with sports training, 12 years. The method of diagnostic survey applied in the study was a questionnaire by J. Kłodecka-Różalska that was adapted to the needs of athletes with disabilities. The interpretation of the results was based on the arithmetic mean of individual evaluations. After checking the confidence interval, the factors were classified into one of three categories of conditions: satisfactory, sufficient, or unsatisfactory.

Results: Data analysis revealed different levels of care and conditions created for the Polish national team during their preparations for the Beijing Paralympic Games. The athletes were fully satisfied with the conditions of the central camps and consultation (food, accommodation, sports equipment) and social relations (atmosphere of cooperation between the athletes and cooperation between the athletes and national team coaches of various disciplines). Issues requiring more professional attention are the health of athletes nominated to participate in the Paralympic Games (medical care and individual orthopaedic equipment) and contact with the media, which shapes the image of sport of the disabled people.

Conclusions: In preparation for Paralympic Games, these athletes need to be provided with the constant and highlevel assistance of a psychologist and a nutritionist. In the perspective of future athletic goals set for the representatives of our country, a high standard of sports facilities, individual sports equipment, transport to the central camps and consultation, as well as professional care in the field of wellness, physiotherapy and massage, should be taken into account for Paralympic Game preparations.

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to determine sexuality of disabled athletes depending on the form of locomotion. The study included 170 disabled athletes, aged between 18 and 45. The entire population was divided into 3 research groups depending on the form of locomotion: moving on wheelchairs (n=52), on crutches (n=29) and unaided (n=89). The research tool was a questionnaire voluntarily and anonymously completed by the respondents of the research groups. The questionnaire was composed of a general part concerning the socio-demographic conditions, medical history, health problems, a part dedicated to physical disability as well as the Polish version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) evaluating sexual life. STATISTICA 10.0 for Windows was used in the statistical analysis. Subjects moving on crutches were significantly older than ones moving on wheelchairs and unaided (34.41 ±11.00 vs. 30.49 ±10.44 and 27.99 ±10.51 years, respectively) (p=0.018). Clinically significant erectile dysfunctions were most often diagnosed in athletes moving on wheelchairs (70.27%), followed by athletes moving on crutches and moving unaided (60% and 35.42%, respectively; p=0.048). Clinical sexual dysfunctions were diagnosed on a similar level among all female athletes. It was concluded that the form of locomotion may determine sexuality of disabled men. Males on wheelchair revealed the worst sexual functioning. Female athletes moving on wheelchairs, on crutches and moving unaided were comparable in the aspect of their sexual life.