Social circus program (Cirque du Soleil) promoting social participation of young people living with physical disabilities in transition to adulthood: a qualitative pilot study.


Received 21 Jul 2017, Accepted 06 May 2018, Published online: 29 May 2018

Purpose: To explore the perceived impact of a social circus program on the participation level of young adults’ living with physical disabilities from their own and their parents’ perspective.

Method: Exploratory phenomenological qualitative design. A social circus program was offered for nine months. Perceived participation level was documented through pre and post semi-structured interviews. A pretested interview guide was used. Interviews were transcribed and coded by two independent researchers.

Results: The average age of the participants (n = 9) was 20.0 ± 1.4 years with 2/9 being female. Participation was perceived as being improved after the intervention from both perspectives (participants and parents) mainly for communication, mobility, relationships, community life and responsibilities. The intervention was perceived as strengthening self-perception and self-efficacy, which in turn enhanced participation level and decreased parents’ bounding.

Conclusion: The results show promises for social circus as a new approach in adult physical rehabilitation for this population in transition.


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