A socio-ecological approach to inclusive physical education in China: A systematic review

Xiao Liang, Minghui Li, Yandan Wu, Xueping Wu, Xiaohui Hou, Cindy Hui Ping Sit (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Since the implementation of inclusive education in China, students with special education needs (SEN) have increasingly been integrating into mainstream schools, like physical education classes. However, inclusive physical education (IPE) in China has developed slowly, and gaps can be found in the knowledge of the factors that inhibit or promote the participation in IPE of students with SEN. Objectives: The purpose of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive summary of the factors related to inclusion in IPE of students with SEN, by applying a socio-ecological model (SEM). Five databases were searched: ERIC, SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Education Full Text (H.W.Wilson), PsychINFO and CNKI in March 2022, to find studies that identify factors regarding IPE in China. Two researchers independently screened studies and summarized relevant data. Results: Fourteen studies were included in the detailed review. By applying the SEM, multi-level factors were identified, ranging from intrapersonal to societal levels that positively or negatively influenced IPE participation in students with SEN. This review indicates that multi-level factors affect the IPE participation of students with SEN in China. Conclusion: The findings will help assist educators and policymakers to develop effective IPE for Chinese students with SEN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number902791
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • inclusive physical education
  • socio-ecologic model
  • students with special education needs
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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