Development and validation of the Wheelchair Imagery Ability Questionnaire (WIAQ) for use in wheelchair sports

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Abstract

Objectives:

Appropriate tools to measure psychological skills in wheelchair athletes seldom exist within the sport psychology literature. Given the benefits of imagery on performance, and the lack of an appropriate wheelchair specific measure, the aim of this multi-study research programme was to develop a new psychometric tool to measure the vividness of movement imagery in wheelchair athletes. We used the Vividness of Movement Imagery Questionnaire–2 (VMIQ-2; Roberts, Callow, Hardy, Markland & Bringer, 2008) as a conceptual framework for item creation and subsequent development of a new tool known as the Wheelchair Imagery Ability Questionnaire (WIAQ).

Method:

Study 1 focused on item creation for the WIAQ for the scale with a purposeful sample of wheelchair athletes using focus groups. Study 2 tested the factor structure of the WIAQ using a Bayesian Structural Equation Modelling (BSEM) approach. Study 3 provided concurrent validity of the WIAQ.

Results:

Study 1 resulted in the development of the initial 24 item WIAQ. Study 2 refined the scale through the use of BSEM to a 15 item measure. Study 3 provided support for the WIAQ evidence for the concurrent validity of the measure.

Conclusion:

The WIAQ is the first known measure specifically created to measure imagery ability in wheelchair athletes and has scope to be used in a broader rehabilitation context for individuals and practitioners making use of imagery as a tool to support various physical recovery strategies.

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