To compare the level of sports practice between adolescents with chronic health conditions (CHCs) and control peers and to examine the reasons given by adolescents with CHCs for not practicing any sports in comparison with the control group.
A total of 6790 students (3275 females) aged 16 to 20 years, grouped as adolescents with CHCs (355 females, 354 males) and control peers (2920 females, 3161 males).
Chronic health condition was defined using a noncategorical approach including adolescents with a chronic disease and/or a physical handicap.
Main Outcome Measures
Sports practice, barriers to sports practice among individuals not practicing any sports, and biological, psychological, socioeducative, and physical activity characteristics.
Males with CHCs were less likely than control males to practice sports, whereas no significant difference was observed for females. Chronically ill youth were significantly more likely to report having a CHC as a barrier for not practicing sports. However, the most frequently reported barrier was preference for other activities for males with CHCs and lack of time for control males and for females with and without CHCs.
Having a CHC seems to influence sports practice among males but not females. We recommend that practitioners dealing with adolescents remember to take into account sports practice as part of the care of young patients with CHCs.