The Effect of Previous Injury History, Specifically Re-Occurring Injuries, On Coping During Injury Rehabilitation
University of Wales
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Sport participation provides an inherent risk of injury. With participation on the increase and an accepted view that holistic recovery requires the psychological to be considered. This study has the purpose of filling a void in the literature through investigating coping strategies of those suffering a reoccurring injury. A qualitative methodology involving retrospective interviews and linking stress source and coping as per guidelines from previous literature was used and participants included 5 athletes competing from a range of sports, at differing levels of competition. Themes that emerged included a greater denial response and avoidance coping strategy during the first injury occurrence and a use of this experience to alter coping strategies in the re-occurrences of injury. This was due to participant’s reflections of effectiveness of the coping strategies employed during their first injury. Stressors that occurred in the first injury either were not cited or did not appear at the same frequency and intensity as the re-injury with additional stressors taking their place with direct relation to the fact that the injury was a re-occurrence. The study suggests re-occurring injuries cannot be dismissed as the having the same stressors and coping strategies as first time occasions when designing interventions for, or working with, injured athletes.
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