The effect of ice skating on psychological well-being and sleep quality of children with visual or hearing impairment.


Purpose: Physical exercise and sports have a key role in preventing physical and psychiatric problems in children. However, children with a disability often experience difficulty participating in physical activity due to a lack of suitable opportunities. Participation in an accessible sport is particularly important for these children, but studies examining which sports are beneficial for which disability groups are rare. In this study, we assessed the effects of ice skating on the psychological well-being, self-concept, and sleep quality of children with hearing or visual impairment. Method: Forty students (20 visually impaired and 20 hearing impaired) aged 8-16 were included in a regular ice skating programme for three months. We examined the sleep quality, self-concept, and behavioural and emotional states of the children before and after participating in the programme. Results: There was a significant improvement in self-concept, behavioural and emotional problems, and sleep quality (p < 0.05 for each) of the children with hearing impairment. Although the sleep quality (p = 0.019) and emotional problem scores (p = 0.000) of the visually impaired children improved; self-concept, peer relations and hyperactivity scores of these children worsened (p < 0.05 for each). Conclusion: Ice skating is one of the popular sport alternatives that gives children the opportunity to exercise and have fun together. The results of this study revealed that regular ice skating programmes may have positive effects on the psychological well-being of children with hearing impairment. Despite some positive effects, caution must be use when including visually impaired children in ice skating programmes. Generalization of the study's outcomes is limited as the study group were residential students enrolled in special education institutions for children who are blind or deaf.