The Role of Optimism and Psychosocial Factors in Athletes Recovery from ACL Injury: A Longitudinal Study
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Despite a growing interest into the role of psychosocial factors during the recovery period following sports injuries, there remains a paucity of longitudinal studies examining the indirect relationships between psychosocial factors, psychological responses, and recovery outcomes. The purpose of this study was to construct and test a conceptual model which examined the indirect relationships between psychosocial factors, rehabilitation adherence, and perceived knee function up to 12 months post anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. A prospective, longitudinal, and repeated measures design was employed, wherein 81 injured athletes (Mage 26.89, SD = 7.52) completed measures of psychosocial factors, rehabilitation adherence, and perceived knee function on seven occasions (pre-surgery to 1 year post-surgery). Bayesian structural equation modeling evaluated the hypothesized indirect relationships proposed within the conceptual model. The main findings from this study was empirical support for a time-ordered, conceptual model which demonstrated that pre-surgery optimism had a significant overall indirect effect on perceived knee function at 12 months post-surgery (sum of indirect; αβ = .08, post. SD = .05, CI [.01, .04]), as well as a specific indirect effect through secondary appraisal at 1 month post-surgery, efficacy at 2 months post-surgery, and rehabilitation adherence at 6 months post-surgery (αβ = .03, post. SD = .03, CI [.00, .10]). Collectively, this study provides support for a number of previously hypothesized, but not empirically examined, indirect relationships between psychosocial factors and recovery outcomes. In doing so, we provide a conceptual model which has the potential to help guide individualised treatment recommendations, as well as identify individuals at risk of compromised recovery outcomes following ACL surgery.
Frontiers in Sports and Active Living;
Article accepted for publication in Frontiers in Sports and Active Living
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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