Co-construction of an Intervention Model Using Sports in a Rehabilitation Setting: A Collaboration Between Researchers and Practitioners

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*Rioux MA, Laurier C, Terradas M, Labonté M, Desormeaux R. (2018). Co-construction of an intervention model using sports in a rehabilitation setting : A collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth. 36(1): 54-80.


The objective of this article is to develop an explanatory model of how a rehabilitation intervention functions within a sports context. Participants include three Coach-Educators (CEs) who organize and set up a rehabilitation intervention using ice hockey. In order to develop the model, two focus groups using the co-modeling methodology of Basque and Pudelko (2004) were conducted. Based on their experiences, the CEs illustrated and modeled the functioning of their intervention. A concept mapping software was projected on a screen to follow the co-modeling in real time. The first discussion group provided a first draft of the model which served as a starting point for the second. The data were analyzed in light of the Theory of change (Weiss, 1998). The CEs report that the objective of the intervention is social integration. This objective can be achieved either through the interaction of the activity components (i.e., youth, group, CEs, ice hockey, structured aspects), or by the CEs’ interventions involving four mechanisms: strengthening self-esteem, moving focus from oneself to others, destigmatization, and learning of prosocial behaviors. Many factors, such as gender, expertise and participants’ experiences were identified as having a positive or negative effect on achieving the objective of the program. Practical considerations and future research avenues are presented. For example, practitioners who use sport in the context of rehabilitation should be familiar with the characteristics and difficulties of the adolescents in Youth Centers and have a clinical rationale in relation to the problem underlying the intervention and its objective.