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Clin J Sport Med. 1999 Apr;9(2):63-9.

A longitudinal examination of athletes' emotional and cognitive responses to anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Author information

1
Sports Medicine Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the emotional and cognitive impact of injury and surgery on physical recovery in injured athletes.

DESIGN:

A prospective longitudinal study comparing the psychosocial and physical recovery of competitive and recreational athletes.

SETTING:

Tertiary-care sports medicine center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty-seven athletes (15 men and 12 women) who required anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery.

INTERVENTIONS:

A repeated-measures design used to compare the psychosocial and physical changes for 6 months after ACL surgery.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Emotional (mood) and cognitive (coping) functions and physical recovery (range of motion, physician-rated level of recovery, and physician permission to return to sport).

RESULTS:

There was a significant time-effect difference in mood, with a greater mood disturbance and recovery rate for competitive athletes than recreational athletes. Differences in mood and pain coping were significant at 2 weeks and 2 months after surgery.

CONCLUSION:

Athletes experience significant mood changes throughout rehabilitation, which may hinder rehabilitation early in the process. Longer-term rehabilitation was not impacted by mood or pain coping. Future studies might focus on examining the process over a longer time period (1-2 years after surgery). Physicians should be aware of these findings and appropriately counsel and motivate athletes toward more favorable positive psychological and physical outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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