A qualitative study of physical activity drivers in autistic individuals using COM-B: Autistic and non-autistic perspectives

Katherine Parsons*, Simon Payne, Nigel Holt, Joanne Wallace

*Awdur cyfatebol y gwaith hwn

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gyfnodolynErthygladolygiad gan gymheiriaid

17 Wedi eu Llwytho i Lawr (Pure)


Despite evidence of the health benefits of physical activity in non-autistic populations and the additional benefits for autistic populations, physical activity levels remain stubbornly low in autistic individuals. Understanding the determinants of physical activity is essential in order to support intervention development.

The current research applied the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and Capability Opportunity Motivation, Behaviour (COM-B) model of behaviour to identify determinants of physical activity behaviour, mechanisms of action, and potentially efficacious behaviour change techniques. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with autistic adults (N = 4) and children (N = 2), parents of autistic children (N = 4), and stakeholders in autism care and support (N = 5). A deductive approach was taken to map themes onto TDF and COM-B.

Participants identified three overarching themes: Discordance between autistic and non-autistic perspectives; physically active environments; and autonomy and choice. Eight subthemes were identified and mapped onto COM-B and TDF. Recommendations for intervention development are made and potential behaviour change techniques are identified.

Given the important role of care providers, future research should focus on the attitudes and behaviours of individuals who care for and support autistic individuals to identify barriers and drivers of physical activity promotion, particularly for individuals with high support needs. An argument is made for co-design in future intervention development.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Rhif yr erthygl102331
Nifer y tudalennau16
CyfnodolynResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Dyddiad ar-lein cynnar18 Ion 2024
Dynodwyr Gwrthrych Digidol (DOIs)
StatwsE-gyhoeddi cyn argraffu - 18 Ion 2024

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