Context: Only a few scales measure confidence within sport; however, these scales are insufficient to measure confidence after athletic injuries. Therefore, better measures are needed to determine the psychological readiness of injured athletes to return to sport participation.
Objective: To develop a scale that measures the psychological readiness of injured athletes to return to sport participation and to provide preliminary evidence of reliability and validity for the scale.
Design: The Delphi method was used to develop the Injury-Psychological Readiness to Return to Sport scale (I-PRRS). Two 1-way analyses of variance with repeated measures and 6 Pearson product moment correlations were computed to help validate the scale.
Setting: Athletic training clinics at 3 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) schools.
Patients or other participants: Four certified athletic trainers (ATs) and professors of Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education-accredited athletic training programs and 3 NCAA Division III coaches made up a panel of experts that participated in the Delphi portion of the study to develop the I-PRRS. In the second part of the study, 22 injured athletes, who missed a minimum of 1 week of practice, from 3 NCAA schools in Divisions II and III were surveyed along with their respective ATs. The injured athletes and ATs participated in the validation of the I-PRRS.
Main outcome measure(s): The injured athlete completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) short form and the I-PRRS shortly after injury, before returning to the first practice, before returning to competition, and immediately after competition. The respective AT completed the I-PRRS before and after competition. The I-PRRS is a 6-item scale that measures the psychological readiness of injured athletes to return to sport, and the POMS short form is a 30-item scale that measures mood states. I added the negative moods of the POMS and subtracted the positive moods of the POMS to calculate a Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) score.
Results: The I-PRRS scores were negatively correlated with the TMD scores of the POMS short form at all 4 time intervals, showing concurrent validity. The I-PRRS scores were lowest after injury, increased before practice, increased again before competition, and had no change after competition. The I-PRRS as completed by the athlete and respective AT was positively correlated both before and after practice, demonstrating external validity.
Conclusions: Preliminary evidence for reliability and validity of the I-PRRS was demonstrated. The I-PRRS can be a beneficial tool for ATs to assess an athlete's psychological readiness to return to sport participation after injury.
Keywords: athletic injuries; confidence; psychology.