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Are athletes psychologically ready for sport following a concussion?
  1. Jeffrey G Caron1,
  2. Gordon A Bloom1,
  3. Leslie W Podlog2
  1. 1Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  2. 2Department of Kinesiology, Health and Recreation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jeffrey G Caron, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal H2W1S4, Canada; jeffrey.caron{at}mail.mcgill.ca

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Sport-related concussions have garnered increasing attention in recent years. Part of making sport safer at all levels of competition involves ensuring that concussions are properly managed. Graduated return to play (RTP)1 has been a widely implemented strategy to assist with concussion management. RTP is a six-stage process managed by health professionals that progressively increases athletes’ exertion until they are able to resume preconcussion activity levels.1 Graduated RTP should ensure athletes are physically and physiologically ready for competition. However, existing RTP criteria do not comprehensively account for psychological readiness for competition. Given that a lack of psychological readiness could lead to heightened competitive anxiety, hesitant performances and greater risk of secondary concussion after returning to sport, insufficiently attending to concussed athletes’ psychological readiness during RTP appears to be cause for concern and is worth examining.

Research on psychological aspects of sport injury has primarily focused on musculoskeletal injuries (eg, sprains, tears and fractures) and not concussions. Adolescent athletes have expressed concerns about the prospect of …

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