Objective: To identify goals for exercising among community-dwelling persons with spinal cord injury (PwSCI). Design: Qualitative descriptive study. Setting: Community-based exercise facility for persons with a disability. Participants: Fifty-five PwSCI identified their exercise goals prior to participation in a community-based exercise intervention. Interventions: None. Outcome measures: A modified version of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure was used to ask about exercise goals. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to code the goals for themes. Results: The participants were predominantly male (76%) and Black (56%) with thoracic-level injury (51%) and a mean age of 39.44 (standard deviation [SD] 13.62). A total of 231 goals (mean 4.2 goals per participant; SD 1.25) were identified. Participants rated their performance and satisfaction with their goals as 4.256 (SD 1.55) and 3.57 (SD 1.67), respectively. Participants most frequently reported goals related to endurance, muscle strengthening, weight loss, activities of daily living, transferring, and home and community mobility. The most commonly reported goals fell into five ICF domains: Functions of Cardiovascular, Hematological, Immunological, and Respiratory Systems; Neuromusculoskeletal and Movement-Related Functions; Structures Related to Movement; Mobility; and Self-Care. Conclusion: PwSCI have goals they would like to achieve through participation in exercise. The goals are multifaceted and encompass improving health and fitness as well as improving performance in everyday activities such as transferring and mobility. Identifying themes of goals for PwSCI to achieve through exercise is an important step in developing programs and interventions needed to support PwSCI living in the community.
- Spinal cord injury