A Qualitative Investigation into Coping Strategies and Psychological Responses to Sport Injury
University of Wales
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The aim of this study was to explore the strategies employed by elite injury athletes (n=7) and factors that might influence the type of strategy employed. Semi structured interviews were conducted to obtain in-depth information about the individual experiences of the athletes. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1994). The raw data themes generated eight emotional responses; shock, frustration, anger, re-injury concerns, impatience, lack of confidence, worry and positivity. Five coping dimensions emerged from the data; seeking social resources, driving through, accepting the injury, learning about their injury, and self talk. The athletes in this study acknowledged that emotional responses to injury influence the type of strategy employed in order to cope with their injuries. As rehabilitation progressed, athletes became more positive and negative emotions decreased, however athletes constantly were impatient to return to sport. When the athletes returned to sport, worry was the most prevalent emotion, which was mainly caused by fear of re-injury. There is a need to examine the potential benefits of experiencing sport injury and associated rehabilitation more thoroughly.
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