Background Sustainable injury preventative behavior is a key factor in increasing the duration an athlete is free from injury. A better understanding of the interplay between different psychological factors and injury preventative behavior (IPB) is needed to be able to translate current knowledge to real-life injury prevention.
Objective The aim of this study is to identify profiles that characterize self-determined motivation, intention of IPB, and enacted IPB among high-level athletes.
Design Cross-sectional descriptive study.
Setting On-line data collection.
Participants In total 90 high-level athletes gave consent and 29 golfers and 22 volleyball players completed all questionnaires (21.6±3.8 years, male = 30, female = 21, level: regional 5, national 30, international 16)
Assessment of Risk Factors The OSTRC Questionnaire for overuse injury was used to collect data on injury severity. Self-determined motivation (SDT) and planned and enacted injury behavior was collected using the injury preventative behavior questionnaire. We applied the average linkage hierarchical agglomerative cluster method using the Euclidean distance as the similarity measure. Cluster determination was optimized according to the BIC score. The model was validated by randomly splitting the data into two groups and confirming the number of clusters.
Main Outcome Measurements Total cumulative severity score, injury preventative behavior, SDT.
Results The analysis revealed three clusters accounting for 50%of the variance in the data. Cluster 1 showed low levels of motivation and a positive association between injury severity and enacted IPB. Cluster 2 showed high levels of autonomous motivation who reported both low injury severity and low enacted IPB. Cluster 3 showed high levels of motivation, planned and enacted IPB regardless of injury severity.
Conclusions Close collaboration between practitioners and scientists may prove a fruitful strategy when identifying an athlete’s characteristics and then translating this into a real-life injury prevention program.
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