Effects of Concurrent Respiratory Resistance Training on Health-related Quality of Life in Wheelchair Rugby Athletes: A Pilot Study
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Purpose: To compare the effects of 9 weeks of training with a concurrent flow resistance (CFR) device versus a concurrent pressure threshold resistance (CPTR) device on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in wheelchair rugby (WR) athletes. Method: Twenty-four male WR athletes (22 with tetraplegia, 1 with a spastic cerebral palsy, and 1 with congenital upper and lower limb deformities) were matched by lesion level, completeness of injury, and rugby classification prior to being randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (1) CPTR (n=8), (2) CFR (n=8), or (3) controls (CON, n=8). Pre/post testing included assessment of HRQoL as measured by the Short-Form Health Survey Version 2.0 (SF-36v2). Manufacturer protocol guidelines for the CFR and CPTR groups were followed for breathing exercises. Results: Sixteen participants completed the study (CPTR=4, CFR=5, CON=7). The Mann- Whitney U rank order revealed significantly greater reductions in bodily pain ( P = .038) and improvements in vitality ( P = .028) for CFR versus CON. Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that training with a CFR device improves some aspects of HRQoL (eg, vitality and bodily pain) in WR athletes. Further research with a larger sample size is needed to examine the impact of these devices on improving HRQoL for wheelchair athletes.