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The psychological impact of injury: effects of prior sport and exercise involvement
  1. Lynne H Johnston1,
  2. Douglas Carroll2
  1. 1Leisure and Sport Research Unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, United Kingdom
  2. 2School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to: L H Johnston, Leisure and Sport Research Unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, Swindon Road, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, United Kingdom email: Ljohnston{at}chelt.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives—To test the assumption that the psychological impact of injury varies with involvement in sport and exercise, and that those who are more involved in sport and exercise before injury would experience greater negative affect and retarded recovery.

Method—Patients attending for physiotherapy completed a battery of questionnaires including measures of mood and perceived recovery, at the beginning, middle, and end of formal rehabilitation. Complete data were available for 93 patients.

Results—Those who were more involved in sport and exercise before injury registered higher levels of confusion and perceived their recovery to be less, possibly reflecting greater information needs and a greater mismatch between current status and that before injury in the athletic sample. Reported negative affect did not vary with sport and exercise involvement.

Conclusions—Incapacitation for those not involved in sport and exercise before injury may have much the same affective impact as it does for those with considerable involvement. However, those with considerable involvement did report higher levels of confusion and perceived their recovery to be less towards the end of rehabilitation. This suggests that it may be important to assess affective reactions and perceived recovery during the re-entry phase.

  • injury
  • psychological impact
  • physiotherapy
  • rehabilitation
  • recovery

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