Exploring the relationship between quality and quantity of participation in an online community-based exercise program
Quality Participation , Physical Disability , Community-based exercise program , Sequential Explanatory Design
The Quality Participation Framework conceptualizes how to promote full and effective participation in exercise programs for individuals with disabilities. Prior to this investigation, it was believed that repeated quality experiences would foster continued quality participation in the sport and exercise setting. Preliminary studies have investigated a potential relationship between quality and quantity of participation in an exercise setting; however it is unknown how these factors may interact. The main objective of this study was to explore the relationship between quality and quantity of participation in an exercise setting. Individuals (n=17) with a physical disability engaged in 10 weeks of Revved Up @ Home, an online community-based exercise program designed to foster quality participation. Using a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design, participants completed global questionnaires at baseline and 10-weeks, and acute questionnaires following each exercise session evaluating their subjective experience of quality participation. At 10 weeks, graphs of survey results derived from the acute questionnaires were shown to participants in a semi-structured interview (i.e., graphic elicitation) and participants were asked about their quality and quantity of participation during the program. Correlations were computed to quantify the relationship between quality and quantity of participation, and situated within critical realism, thematic analysis facilitated an exploration of the contextual relationship between quality and quantity of participation. Qualitative and quantitative findings were integrated, highlighting important relationships between meaning and quantity of participation, as well as between challenge and mastery. The quantitative data highlighted relationships that may exist between different aspects of quality participation, while the qualitative data demonstrated potential links between the aspects of quality participation and quantity of participation. Findings from this investigation provide preliminary evidence that repeated quality experiences lead to quality participation and contributes to our growing knowledge of the Quality Participation Framework by detailing a contextual understanding of the relationships between the aspects of quality participation. This study also serves to help program providers understand links within the Quality Participation Framework, to enhance community-based exercise programs’ ability to bolster quality participation and attendance among individuals with physical disabilities.