Purpose: It is well established that physical exercise, in general, decreases anxiety and depression. Para sport or sport for people with disabilities is used as a rehabilitation strategy to improve their quality of life. This study aimed to investigate people with disabilities who practise wheelchair fencing, sedentary people with physical disability and conventional fencers, assessed by Short Form 36 (SF-36), by comparing the groups.
Method: Forty-two people from Physical Disability Association of Parana (ADFP) answered SF-36 and were divided into three groups: Conventional Fencers (CF), Wheelchair Fencers (WF), and Sedentary People with Physical Disability (SD).
Results: This study was the first to report the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) of conventional fencers, wheelchair fencers, and sedentary people with physical disability, using SF-36. The data demonstrated high scores in CF and WF, on seven SF-36 scales of the eight-scale profile, including functional and mental health, role physical, bodily pain, general health perception, vitality, social functioning, mental health. Moreover, the sedentary group had lower scores in most of the domains when they were compared to CF.
Conclusion: The results might provide supportive evidence that HRQOL of WF has demonstrated a positive effect on people with disability since para sport has been used as a rehabilitation programme.
Implication: The implementation of a public campaign is recommended, about sport as a health promoter for disability and rehabilitation. By involving healthcare providers from the area, people with disabilities can be encouraged to participate in para sport.