Physical activity is important for youth with inflammatory bowel diseases and sports participation is a common way in which youth are physically active.
Yet, studies examining sports participation in youth with inflammatory bowel diseases and barriers to sports participation are lacking.
Dr Rachel Neff Greenley and colleagues from Illinois, USA examined the role of disease complications, body mass index, subjective physical health, and psychosocial functioning in influencing sports participation in a large sample of youth with inflammatory bowel diseases participating in the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Partners Kids and Teens Registry.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Partners Kids and Teens is an internet-based cohort study in which participants and their parents self-report demographics, disease characteristics, anthropometrics, and validated assessments of physical health, psychosocial functioning, and perceived impairment in sports participation.
The team of doctors performed a cross-sectional analysis of 450 cohort participants, age 12–17 years.
The researchers found that nearly two-thirds of the sample reported that their inflammatory bowel diseases resulted in some impairment in sports participation.
Inflammatory bowel disease activity was associated with perceived impairment in sports participation.
In a forward regression analysis controlling for disease activity, fatigue, pain, and past inflammatory bowel diseases-related surgery emerged as the most salient correlates of impairment in sports participation.
The researchers noted that disease activity and subjective physical health symptoms were the most salient correlates of impairment in sports participation.
Whether these barriers interfere with physical activity more generally deserves further study, as does replication of these findings longitudinally.
Dr Neff Greenley's team concludes, "Ultimately, a greater understanding of potential barriers to sports participation may be useful for generating targeted physical activity recommendations for youth with inflammatory bowel diseases."