Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine whether participation in sports by persons with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) affected level of community integration as defined by the World Health Organization and as measured by the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART).
Method. Forty-eight participants were recruited from a camp for persons with physical disabilities as well as from SCI support groups. Participants were divided into groups of athletes (n = 30) and nonathletes (n = 18) on the basis of their self-reported level of sports participation.
Results. Athletes scored significantly higher on four of five subsections of the CHART (physical independence, mobility, occupation, social integration), indicating greater levels of community integration than nonathletes.
Conclusion. These findings extend the literature outlining the physical and psychological benefits of sports. Occupational therapists have a unique opportunity to use the occupation of sports to integrate the roots of the profession with the cultural demands of society.