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Journal Article


Clement D, Arvinen-Barrow M, Fetty T. J. Athl. Train. 2014; 50(1): 95-104.


College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown;


(Copyright © 2014, National Athletic Trainers' Association (USA))






Context :  Athletic trainers have traditionally conceptualized rehabilitation programs in terms of 3 distinct physiologic phases; however, these phases appear to neglect athletes' psychosocial responses to their injuries.

OBJECTIVE :  To document injured athletes' psychosocial responses during the different phases of injury rehabilitation. Design :  Qualitative study. Setting :  National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II university in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Patients or Other Participants :  A total of 8 previously injured athletes (4 men and 4 women) participated in the study. Data Collection and Analysis :  We collected participant data by using semistructured interviews, transcribed verbatim and analyzed by directed content analysis. Established themes were triangulated to determine trustworthiness.

RESULTS :  Initially, athletes' cognitive appraisals were predominately negative in nature, leading to negative emotions. These appraisals changed after diagnosis and when moving to the reaction-to-rehabilitation phase and the reaction-to-sport phase. During the reaction to rehabilitation phase, athletes reported mixed cognitive appraisals and identified frustration as the main emotional response. When returning to sport, athletes reflected on the lessons learned, yet they expressed some doubts related to their ability to return to play. These cognitive appraisals served as a precursor to the resulting emotional responses of nervousness and reinjury anxiety, as well as excitement. Throughout the various phases of rehabilitation, athletes reported seeking out social support: initially from significant others and then from their athletic trainers during the reaction-to-rehabilitation phase.

CONCLUSIONS :  The results appear to support the use of the integrated model of psychological response to sport injury and the rehabilitation process and the 3 phases of rehabilitation as a framework for understanding how physical and psychosocial factors may interact during sport-injury rehabilitation. Understanding this interaction may help athletic trainers provide better care to their injured athletes.

Language: en


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