Development and preliminary validation of a scale to measure the psychological impact of returning to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery

Phys Ther Sport. 2008 Feb;9(1):9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2007.09.003. Epub 2007 Nov 5.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to measure the psychological impact of returning to sport after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery.

Main outcome measure: Three types of psychological responses believed to be associated with resumption of sport following athletic injury--emotions, confidence in performance, and risk appraisal--were incorporated into a 12-item ACL-Return to Sport after Injury (ACL-RSI) scale.

Participants: Two hundred and twenty participants who had undergone ACL reconstruction completed the scale between 8 and 22 months following surgery.

Results: The scale was shown to have acceptable reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.92). Participants who had given up sport scored significantly lower on the scale (reflecting a more negative psychological response) than those who had returned or were planning to return to sport (p<0.001).

Conclusion: It was concluded that the decision to return to sport after ACL reconstruction is associated with a significant psychological response. Preliminary reliability and validity was found for the ACL-RSI scale. This scale may help to identify athletes who will find sport resumption difficult.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Sports
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Young Adult