Balance and strength assessment of Special Olympics athletes: how feasible and reliable is the Fun Fitness test battery?

Debbie van Biesen, Roi Charles Pineda
2019 European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity  
This study examined the test-retest reliability (TRR) and feasibility of four muscle strength 10 and three balance tests included in the Special Olympics (SO) FUNfitness test-battery, used 11 worldwide to assess physical fitness of SO athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID). A sample of 36 12 Belgian participants with ID (22 men, 14 women) aged 8-30 years, completed a battery of seven tests 13 twice within a two-week time interval. We assessed TRR by means of intraclass correlation 14
more » ... correlation 14 coefficients (ICC), standard error of measurement (SEM), and Bland-Altman plots. All tests 15 demonstrated good feasibility and relative and absolute reliability. The ICC ranged between 0.75 16 and 0.89. All SEM values demonstrated acceptable measurement precision (SEM<SD/2). The scatter 17 around the Bland-Altman plots was randomly distributed. Despite the promising findings, further 18 research is recommended to determine whether these balance and strength tests are also reliable in 19 less standardized environments such as the SO testing-area. 20 Keywords: health-related physical fitness; performance related physical fitness; intellectual 21 disability 22 23 24 European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity 201x, 1x, x FOR PEER REVIEW 2 of 12 65 fitness test battery specifically feasible for all people with ID is still lacking. Additionally, although 66 laboratory tests are the most accurate option for measuring components of physical fitness and most 67 often considered as golden standard in terms of validity and reliability, the choice for field tests is 68 often made because they are more practical and cost-effective (e.g., less time-consuming, less need 69 for qualified personnel, less expensive equipment) (Fjortoft, Pedersen, Sigmundsson, & Vereijken, 70 2011). 71 Large-scale field-testing of physical fitness in people with ID, takes place yearly in connection 72 with Special Olympics (SO), which is an international sports organization for children and adults 73 with ID. SO offers training and competition opportunities for more than 4.2 million athletes in more 74 than 170 countries. Besides training and competition, SO also developed diverse healthcare programs 75 aimed to screen the health status of athletes. One of these programs is FUNFitness, one of the seven 76 European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity 201x, 1x, x FOR PEER REVIEW 3 of 12 pillars within the Healthy Athletes program. FUNfitness provides screenings to evaluate the physical
doi:10.5507/euj.2019.004 fatcat:c3olq5xrivce3in7evglrblodu