The Guide for implementation of sport inclusion in the health sector


Chapter VIII

The health sector is one of the first, if not the first, entity to have contact with the occurrence of a disability, whether congenital, that is, since the birth or a disability that was acquired during the life cycle is detected.

We can identify plurality of healthcare providers who persons with disabilities and their families can contact, but social workers, psychologists, nurses and doctors most regularly maintain contact.

Competent authorities (WHO, EU and states and governments) recognize the role and importance of sport in promoting self-esteem, therapeutic rehabilitation, social inclusion as well as promoting quality of life through regular physical and sports activity.

The health sector may have three types of intervention:

  1. Inform, raise awareness, publicize, advise and refer.
  2. Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health (WHO).
  3. Therapy and sport

1. Inform, raise awareness, disseminate, advise and refer people with disabilities to entities that frame and promote the regular practice of physical and sports activity.

Profile of health professionals

  • The doctor should be primarily responsible for the other team members to be designated.

2. Awareness Action Support Resources

Website of the health unit itself, or of the local, regional and / or national health system, as well as the possibility for health professionals, persons with disabilities and their families to use a technological platform within a national information system. Sports, which is part of a National Sports Charter.

  • Brochures, leaflets and other informative material in paper and digital media.

Human Resources Training

  • The training of human resources of health professionals should have, among others, the following concerns:
    • Why? To Whom? What? How? At Where?
    • How to use technological resources?
    • Advise / prescribe considering the advantages and contraindications.

3. Integrate into physical therapy rehabilitation programs the promotion of physical activity according to WHO recommendations.

  • Physical exercise prescription should be part of a national physical activity program.

4. Integrate into therapeutic rehabilitation a therapy and sports program consisting of different phases, from therapeutic exercises to high performance sport.

  • The therapy and sports program should aim to monitor from the clinical phase of therapeutic rehabilitation, through exercise and physical activity, to informal sport to performance / competition sport. The program should foresee the transition from the hospital to inclusion in the community, namely in a sports club.
  • The program may include a first phase of “Therapeutic Exercises”, the second of “Therapeutic Sport or Applied Rehabilitation Sport”, the third of “Adapted Sport” the fourth and last of “Competition Sport”.