Psychosocial factors in sports injury rehabilitation

Clin Sports Med. 1997 Oct;16(4):755-68. doi: 10.1016/s0278-5919(05)70052-1.


The psychology of sports injury rehabilitation is a relatively new field, even in comparison with the relatively youthful disciplines from which it has evolved. Although the psychology of sports injury has made a significant impact on the sports medicine team, the practical aspects of how and when to refer patients to psychologists need to be better understood. A recent survey of 20 sports medicine physicians indicated a high degree of psychological or behavioral concerns occurring in conjunction with sport injuries, and an increased interest in the services of clinical sports psychologists. An appreciation of mind-body interactions and how they function regarding stress, sports performance, and injury is fundamental to the acceptance of psychological techniques in the medical arena. Teaching these fundamental issues to those in sports and medicine is essential. Furthermore, the psychology of sports injury needs continuing development of a base of theory, empirical research, and clinical practice that is sensitive to the needs of the individual athlete. Research on the assessment of psychosocial factors influencing sports injury and performance, as well as the efficacy of treatment modalities, is warranted. The psychology of sports injury has emerged from several previously established areas of psychology including behavioral medicine, rehabilitation, and sport psychology. As the techniques derived from these arenas are modified to suit the special needs of injured athletes, a set of principles and practices can be-established to better assist the sports medicine team in rehabilitation and prevention of sports injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Psychology
  • Psychophysiology
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sports Medicine
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology