Medical care during preparations for Paralympics in Beijing 2008 (athletes’ opinions)
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Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, Academy of Physical Education, Cracow, Poland
Department of Health Care, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Faculty of Physiotherapy, Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
Head of Medical Mission Paralympics Games in Beijing 2008, Medicina Sportiva Practica, Cracow, Poland
Privately-owned Health Care Center – ‘‘Alma Spel,’’ Cracow, Poland
Psychology Department, Sport Institute, Warsaw, Poland
‘‘EFFATHA’’ Emergency Center for People with Autism, Cracow, Poland
Submission date: 2012-05-10
Acceptance date: 2012-06-30
Publication date: 2020-04-10
Corresponding author
Joanna Sobiecka   

Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, Academy of Physical Education, Jana Pawła II 78, 31-571 Cracow, Poland. Tel./fax: þ48 12 649 33 97.
Pol. Ann. Med. 2012;19(2):106-112
Contemporary sport practiced by people with disabilities at the Paralympic level requires multi-specialized medical care similar to that of the Olympic sport, not only during the Games but mostly during the entire 4-year training program period. A medical team, managed by a physician, should also include a physiotherapist and at least a psychologist and a dietician.

This work aimed at evaluating the conditions which were provided for Polish athletes within the scope of medical care during preparations for the Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing 2008.

Material and methods:
In total, 89 athletes participated in the study: 31 females and 58 males, which constituted 97.8% of all Polish athletes taking part in the Games. These athletes represented 11 disciplines. The average age of the studied subjects was 32; the average period of practicing a sport as a competitor was 12 years. This study was conducted by the diagnostic survey method employing a questionnaire form authored by J. Kłodecka-Różalska.

Results and discussion:
The conducted data analysis demonstrated that the athletes negatively evaluated access to medical care and means accelerating biological/functional recovery after training sessions and competitions. Moreover, they did not positively assess cooperation with a physiotherapist and a masseur. During the preparatory period they also lacked consultations with a psychologist and a dietician.

It is suggested that the disabled sport federations and associations employ this detailed analysis of the conditions concerning medical care as a research material in order to obtain funds for initiating advantageous organizational changes for those athletes who will be selected for the national team competing in the next Paralympic Games.

None declared.
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