Do athletes with physical disabilities perceive their quality of life similarly when involved in different Paralympic Sports?

Abstract Aim: This study aimed to compare the quality of life perception among Boccia, Para-Athletics, and Wheelchair Tennis athletes. Methods: Eighty-six athletes with physical disabilities participated (Boccia = 41; Para Athletics = 14; Wheelchair Tennis = 31) in the study. The data were collected by applying the Brazilian Portuguese version of the WHOQOL-Bref questionnaire and a short survey for demographics. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the relationship among the variables considering a confidence level of 95%. Results: Wheelchair Tennis athletes were older and Para-Athletics athletes were involved in this sport for a longer period. The majority of participants perceived positively their overall quality of life and health. Wheelchair Tennis athletes presented higher total quality of life perception scores in comparison to Boccia athletes. Regarding the specific domains of quality of life, Para-Athletics athletes presented higher scores in the psychological domain in comparison to Boccia and Wheelchair Tennis. Wheelchair Tennis presented higher social scores in comparison to Boccia and higher environment scores in comparison to Boccia and Para-Athletics. No differences were found in the physical domain in all groups. Conclusion: The evidence points to the influence of athletes’ demographics, the specific nuances of their impairments, and the Paralympic Sports practiced in perceiving the quality of life. Suggestions are made to further explore the factors that may influence the quality of life perception among Paralympic Sports athletes.