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Given the impact of sports injury on athlete health, well-being and performance, reducing the incidence and burden of injuries is a priority for clinicians.1 As the causes of sports injuries are multifactorial, it is incumbent on multidisciplinary teams to design injury prevention programmes that address and modify these different factors.1 2 Despite this, it is uncommon that psychological components are included as part of injury prevention programmes. This is often, in part, attributed to a lack of confidence in integrating psychological techniques into programmes, concerns over the quality of evidence base or stigmas attached to the roles of sport psychology in sport.3 Consequently, the aims of this editorial are to first make a rationale for the inclusion of sport psychology interventions within injury prevention programmes and second suggest types of interventions that could be included as part of a multidisciplinary injury prevention programme.
Why should I invest in psychological interventions?
Psychosocial characteristics are associated with an increased risk of injury and/or increased injury time-loss, with the link between psychosocial stress, stress responses and injury risk perhaps the most widely cited and recognised.4 The potential mechanisms behind these include psychophysiological, neurocognitive and/or behavioural changes, which may increase the risk of acute or overuse injuries. This being said, the link with overuse injuries is currently …
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