York St John research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine
Published: 18 February 2016
- Academic Success
Psychosocial factors associated with outcomes of sports injury rehabilitation in competitive athletes is the work of York St John lecturers Dale Forsdyke and Professor Andy Smith, Michelle Jones from Solent University and Adam Gledhill from Leeds Beckett University and is published today.
Past research on sports injuries has tended to focus on physical factors but this study looks at psychosocial aspects – such as cognitions, emotions and behaviours - and how these related to rehabilitation outcomes. There are high profile examples where athletes may have returned to training and competition when they are physically but not psychologically ready. The research found that restoring self-confidence while reducing anxiety and fear increased the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Dale Forsdyke, senior lecturer in Sports Injury Management, said: “We are delighted to have our systematic review published in such a prestigious and impactful sports medicine journal. From reviewing the empirical evidence we found that there are important psychosocial factors that are associated with various outcomes of sports injury rehabilitation.
“The review will hopefully serve as a protagonist for future research projects in this area, and improve how practitioners work with injured athletes. “
Other key findings include:
- An athlete’s psychological readiness to return to play appears to be a product of fear, anxiety, confidence in performing well, and remaining uninjured.
- Being female, young, having a limited experience of injury, negative emotion, and perceptions of isolation are factors related to less successful outcomes of rehabilitation.
- Practitioners need to be aware that injured athletes are emotionally vulnerable, and that their emotional integrity may be questionable during rehabilitation.
- Practitioners shouldn’t assume that physical and psychosocial recovery from injury occurs within the same timeframe.