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.