Caroline's Blog

Sport psychology related reflections

Previous exposure to sport injury psychology education sport injury rehabilitation professionals’ attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology — January 9, 2017

Previous exposure to sport injury psychology education sport injury rehabilitation professionals’ attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology

The journal article from Study 2 of my PhD is available free of charge from the following link until 11th February 2017.

Click here to view Heaney et al. (2017) in Physical Therapy in Sport

 

ABSTRACT

Objectives

The use of sport psychology strategies during sport injury rehabilitation can lead to several positive outcomes such as improved adherence and self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to compare the sport psychology related attitudes and behaviours of UK sport injury rehabilitation professionals (SIRPs) who had studied the psychological aspects of sport injury to those who had not.

Participants and design

Ninety-four SIRPs (54 physiotherapists and 40 sports therapists with a mean of 9.22 years’ experience of working in sport) completed an online survey and were grouped according to their level of previous exposure to sport injury psychology education at an undergraduate/postgraduate level. Analyses were undertaken to establish whether there were any differences in sport psychology related attitude (MANOVA), usage (MANOVA), and referral behaviours (chi square) between the groups.

Results

The MANOVA and chi square tests conducted revealed that those who had studied the psychological aspects of sport injury reported using significantly more sport psychology in their practice and making more referrals to sport psychologists.

Conclusions

It was concluded that sport injury psychology education appears to be effective in increasing the sport psychology related behaviours (use of sport psychology and referral) of SIRPs and should be integrated into professional training.

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New research (2016): Psychological aspects of sports injury — May 27, 2016

New research (2016): Psychological aspects of sports injury

This page contains a list of research related to the psychological aspects of sports injury published in 2016. Its aim is to be a resource for students and researchers investigating the topic.  It is a ‘work in progress’ and will be updated throughout the year. If you are aware of a piece of research that you think should be added to this list please add it using the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the page.

Arvinen-Barrow, M. and Clement, D. (2016). Preliminary investigation into sport and exercise psychology consultants’ views and experiences of an interprofessional care team approach to sport injury rehabilitation. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1-9 (online first).

Cagle, A.J., Overcash, K.B., Rowe, D.P. & Needle, A.R. (2016). Trait anxiety as a risk factor for musculoskeletal injury in athletes: a critically appraised topic. International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 22(3), 26-31.

Bejar, M. P., Fisher, L. A., Nam, B. H., Larsen, L. K., Fynes, J. M., & Zakrajsek, R. A. (2016). High-level South Korean athletes’ experiences of injury and rehabilitation. The Sport Psychologist, 1-36 (online first). doi: 10.1123/tsp.2015-0060.

Forsdyke, D, Gledhill, A. and Arden, C. (2016). Psychological readiness to return to sport: three key elements to help the practitioner decide whether the athlete is REALLY ready? British Journal of Sports Medicine (online first). doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096770

Forsdyke, D., Smith, A., Jones, M. and Gledhill, A. (2016). Psychosocial factors associated with outcomes of sports injury rehabilitation in competitive athletes: A mixed studies systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(9), 537-544.

Heaney, C. A., Rostron, C. L., Walker, N. C., & Green, A. J. (2016). Is there a link between previous exposure to sport injury psychology education and UK sport injury rehabilitation professionals’ attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology?. Physical Therapy in Sport (online first). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp.2016.08.006.

Hsu, C. J., Meierbachtol, A., George, S. Z., & Chmielewski, T. L. (2016). Fear of reinjury in athletes implications for rehabilitation. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach (online first), 1941738116666813.

Ivarsson, A., Johnson, U., Andersen, M.B., Tranaeus, U, Stenling, A., and Lindwall, M. (2016). Psychosocial factors and sport injuries: meta-analyses for prediction and prevention. Sports Medicine, doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0578-x

Madrigal, L., Wurst, K. & Gill, D.L. (2016). The role of mental toughness in coping and injury response in female roller derby and rugby athletes. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 10(2), 137-154.

Putukian, M. (2016). The psychological response to injury in student athletes: a narrative review with a focus on mental health. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(3), 145-148.

Roy-Davis, K, Wadey, R. & Evans, L. (2016, in press). A grounded theory of sport injury-related growth. Exercise and Performance Psychology.

Sheinbein, S. (2016). Psychologcal effect of injury on the athlete: a recommendation for psychological intervention. AMAA Journal, Fall/Winter, 8-10.

Zakrajsek, R. A., Martin, S. B., & Wrisberg, C. A. (2016). National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I certified athletic trainers’ perceptions of the benefits of sport psychology services. Journal of Athletic Training, 51(5), 0-0 (online first). doi:10.4085/1062-6050-51.5.13

 

What do physiotherapists need to know about sport psychology? — January 5, 2015

What do physiotherapists need to know about sport psychology?

By Caroline Heaney

There’s lots of research out there to suggest that the use of sport psychology strategies during sport injury rehabilitation can lead to positive outcomes for the injured athlete. It therefore follows that educating physiotherapists and other sport injury rehabilitation professionals about sport psychology is likely to be of significant benefit, but what exactly do physiotherapists need to know about sport psychology and how is it best delivered to them?

These were the questions that I attempted to answer in a recently published journal article (Heaney, Walker, Green & Rostron, 2015), which aimed to review the recommendations of previous literature in this area and identify the appropriate content and mode of delivery for a sport psychology education intervention for already qualified physiotherapists. Three broad areas that sport psychology education for physiotherapists should cover emerged: (1) understanding of the psychological impact of injury, (2) interventions and psychological skills/techniques, and (3) referral and professional boundaries. In order for such education to be effective it is important that it is applied in nature and delivered in a short duration, flexible package.

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To view a full text version of the article please click on the link below:
http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1QHop,XMZM2EMl

Please note that this full text version of the article is only available free of charge until 18 February 2015.
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The abstract from the article is reproduced below:
Sport psychology education has been shown to have a positive impact on the practice of sport injury rehabilitation professionals (SIRPs). The purpose of this paper is to review recommendations relating to such education. The paper presents a review of existing literature relating to the content and mode of delivery for a sport psychology education programme for SIRPs. The review seeks to address four questions: (1) What topic areas do researchers suggest should be integrated into the sport psychology education of SIRPs? (2) What topic areas are currently being recommended by professional bodies? (3) What are the findings of research examining the impact of sport psychology education on SIRPs? and (4) What do researchers recommend to be the most appropriate mode of delivery for sport psychology education for SIRPs? The findings of the review suggest that in order to maximise adherence amongst already qualified SIRPs sport psychology education should be delivered in a flexible short duration package. Additionally three broad areas that sport psychology education should cover emerged: (1) understanding of the psychological impact of injury, (2) interventions and psychological skills/techniques, and (3) referral and professional boundaries. This has important implications for the future training of SIRPs.

Study 3: Sport Psychology Education for Sport Injury Rehabilitation Professionals – A Systematic Literature Review — January 10, 2014

Study 3: Sport Psychology Education for Sport Injury Rehabilitation Professionals – A Systematic Literature Review

By Caroline Heaney

The previous studies of my PhD have illustrated that sport psychology education is likely to have a positive impact on the sport psychology related behaviours of physiotherapists and other sports injury rehabilitation professionals (SIRPs). The nature of such education is clearly important, as a poorly designed sport psychology education programme will likely have much less impact than a well designed programme. Previous researchers have discussed the appropriate content and mode of education on the psychological aspects of sports injury for SIRPs. Therefore the purpose of Study 3 is to present a systematic literature review of this work with an aim of identifying the appropriate content and mode of delivery for a sport psychology education intervention for study 4 of the PhD.

This article is currently under review for a journal. A link to this journal article will be posted here once it is published. The abstract from this article is presented below.
UPDATE: THIS ARTICLE HAS NOW BEEN PUBLISHED IN PHYSICAL THERAPY IN SPORT (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1466853X14000303)

Abstract

Objectives: Sport psychology education has been shown to have a positive impact on the practice of sport injury rehabilitation professionals (SIRPs). The purpose of this paper is to review recommendations relating to such education.

Design: This paper presents a systematic review of existing literature relating to the content and mode of delivery for a sport psychology education programme for SIRPs. The review seeks to address four questions: (1) What topic areas does research suggest should be integrated into the sport psychology education of SIRP?, (2) What topic areas are currently being recommended by professional bodies?, (3) What are the findings of research examining the impact of sport psychology education on SIRP?, and (4) What does research recommend to be the most appropriate mode of delivery for sport psychology education for SIRPs?

Conclusions: The findings of the review suggest that in order to maximise adherence amongst already qualified SIRPs sport psychology education should be delivered in a flexible short duration package. Additionally three broad areas that sport psychology education should cover emerged: (1) understanding of the psychological impact of injury, (2) interventions and psychological skills/techniques, and (3) referral and professional boundaries. This has important implications for the future training of SIRPs.

Study 1: The Psychology Content of UK Physiotherapy Programmes — November 28, 2013

Study 1: The Psychology Content of UK Physiotherapy Programmes

By Caroline Heaney

The ultimate aim of my research was to examine the impact of sport psychology education on physiotherapists, however, before I could do this I needed to find out more about the psychology (not just sport psychology) content of UK physiotherapy programmes. I quickly established  that this was a very difficult question to answer, with very little information out there. The last piece of research which examined the psychology content of UK physiotherapy programmes was published over 20 years ago  (Baddeley and Bithell, 1989). I therefore decided to undertake my own research. This research was published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Education (see links below). The abstract of this research has been reproduced below.

Heaney, C.A., Green, A.J.K., Rostron, C.L. & Walker, N.C. (2012). A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the psychology content of UK physical therapy education programs. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26(3), 48-56.

Link: http://oro.open.ac.uk/32840/

ABSTRACT:

Background and Purpose. A knowledge and understanding of psychology is recognized as being important to physiotherapy practice since psychological factors can impact upon physical recovery. However, little is known about the nature of psychology education within UK physiotherapy training programs. The purpose of the study was, therefore, to examine current psychology provision within physiotherapy programs in UK universities, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Subjects. The participants were self-selected representatives from 17 UK universities. These representatives were program directors, program leaders, or lecturers teaching on the physiotherapy program.

Methods. The participants were questioned regarding the nature and extent of psychology covered in their program, the delivery and assessment of any psychology content, the perceived importance of psychology in physiotherapy training, and factors influencing psychology provision in their physiotherapy programs.

Results. All of the universities claimed to include some degree of psychology content within their physiotherapy programs and largely agreed that psychology is an important component in the education and training of physiotherapists. However, there appears to be great diversity both within and between universities in the provision of psychology education, and an underlying inconsistency between the reported importance of psychology and the demonstrated importance of psychology through its visibility within physiotherapy programs.

Discussion and Conclusion. More needs to be done to standardize the psychology content of physiotherapy programs in order to ensure that students at all institutions receive a similar level of training in psychology, which can have a positive impact on their professional practice.

Study 2: Physiotherapists’ and Sports Therapists’ Perceptions and Use of Sport Psychology — November 22, 2013

Study 2: Physiotherapists’ and Sports Therapists’ Perceptions and Use of Sport Psychology

By Caroline Heaney

Study 2 of my PhD is a comparative study of physiotherapists’ and sports therapists’ perceptions and use of sport psychology. Sports therapists tend to receive more sport psychology education than physiotherapists at an undergraduate level. The purpose of the  study was therefore to ascertain whether education in sport psychology is indicative of attitudes and behaviour towards sports psychology during sports injury rehabilitation, by comparing these two groups of professionals. The participants, who comprised 54 physiotherapists and 40 sports therapists were asked to complete an online questionnaire which collected information about their qualifications, experience, sport psychology education, attitudes towards sport psychology and use of sport psychology.

It was found that the physiotherapists and sports therapists were not as distinct from each other with regards to their sport psychology education experiences as originally expected. Therefore, for analysis, the physiotherapists and sports therapists were sub-divided into further groups according to their education level (undergraduate or postgraduate) and whether they had studied sport psychology. The results revealed a significant effect with significant differences seen between some of the groups on the use of sport psychology. For example, undergraduate level qualified sports therapists who had studied sport psychology scored higher on the sport psychology usage section of the questionnaire than undergraduate level qualified physiotherapists who had not studied sport psychology, and inversely undergraduate level qualified physiotherapists who had studied sport psychology scored higher on the sport psychology usage section of the questionnaire than undergraduate level qualified sports therapists who had not studied sport psychology.

Analysis of the impact of the extent and specificity of sport psychology education undertaken by the participants also revealed some interesting results. When participants were split into groups according to their level of exposure to sport psychology education, regardless of their professional role and qualification level, again differences were seen between the groups with regard to use of sport psychology. For example, those who had not studied sport psychology scored significantly lower on the use of sport psychology than those had had studied one or two sessions of sport psychology, an entire module on sport psychology or more than one module on sport psychology. Similar results were seen with regard to referral with a much higher proportion of those who have studied sport psychology making referrals to sport psychologists than those who had not studied sport psychology. These findings were even more pronounced for those who had specifically studied the psychological aspects of sports injury.

This study has provided evidence to indicate that sport psychology education has a positive impact on the sport psychology related behaviours (usage and referral) of sports injury rehabilitation professionals. This would suggest that an education intervention could be effective in improving attitudes and behaviours amongst sports injury rehabilitation professionals. Future studies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of sport psychology education interventions and the optimal content of such interventions.

Study 4: The Impact of Sport Psychology Education on Physiotherapists —

Study 4: The Impact of Sport Psychology Education on Physiotherapists

By Caroline Heaney

Study 4, the final study in my PhD, investigates the impact of an online sport psychology education module for physiotherapists working in sport. This study was presented at the International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference in August 2013 and the abstract published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The abstract is reproduced below. More detailed analysis can be seen in the poster linked to at the bottom of this post.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: It is well recognised that sports injury can lead to negative psychological reactions such as frustration or depression and there is now a body of evidence which indicates that sport psychology intervention can benefit sports injury rehabilitation (Heaney, IJSEP 2006,4,67-80). It would however appear that physiotherapists are often not equipped to integrate sport psychology into rehabilitation. Generally research has shown that physiotherapists recognise the importance of psychological factors but lack the training to utilise sport psychology (Arvinen-Barrow et al., JSR 2007,16,111-121). This suggests a need for further training; yet limited research exists examining such training. Therefore the purpose of this investigation was to examine the impact of sport psychology education on physiotherapists.
Method: 67 physiotherapists were assigned to the intervention group who studied an online sport psychology module and 68 were assigned to the control group, who studied an equivalent module with no psychology content. A questionnaire package which included the Psychology of Injury Usage Survey (Stiller-Ostrowski et al., JAT 2009,44,482-9) and the Attitudes About Imagery Survey (Hamson-Utley et al., JAT 2008,43,258-264) was completed by the participants at four points: immediately before, immediately after, 3 months and 6 months after completing the module. Data was collected on areas such as attitudes towards sport psychology, use of sport psychology and referral.
Results: Studying the module appeared to have a positive impact on the physiotherapists. Both attitudes towards and use of sport psychology improved following completion of the module. Importantly, use of sport psychology strategies was maintained during the 6 months following the completion of the module indicating a positive longitudinal effect.
Conclusions: The findings of this study would suggest that sport psychology CPD courses should be more widely available to practicing physiotherapists.

To see the abstract in the British Journal of Sports Medicine click here: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/47/17/e4.14?etoc

To view the poster presented at the International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference click here: http://oro.open.ac.uk/39029/

An Overview of my PhD —

An Overview of my PhD

By Caroline Heaney

I have always found the psychological aspects of sports injury rehabilitation fascinating, but really became interested in the area when I suffered an injury myself. As a sport psychologist I was aware of the strategies I could use to enhance my rehabilitation, but soon realised that other athletes were not able to use sport psychology. One of the key barriers to injured athletes accessing sport psychology appeared to be the knowledge and skills of the physiotherapist.

Before starting my PhD I undertook some research in this field amongst physiotherapists working in professional football (see: http://oro.open.ac.uk/32826/) and discovered that whilst most physiotherapists recognise the importance of sport psychology in the recovery from injury, they don’t feel that have the education and training to fully integrate sport psychology into their practice. I followed this up with some recommendations for successfully integrating sport psychology into physiotherapy practice (see: http://oro.open.ac.uk/32827/).

My PhD comprises four studies (more detail will be provided on these in later blog entries):

Study 1: A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the psychology content of UK physiotherapy education. This study has been published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education (click here for more detail).

Study 2: A comparative study of physiotherapists’ and sports therapists’ perceptions and use of sport psychology (click here for more detail).

Study 3: A systematic literature review investigating the suggested content of sport psychology Education for sport injury rehabilitation professionals (click here for more detail).

Study 4: A longitudinal study investigating the impact of a sport psychology education course on the practice of physiotherapists. The abstract of this study has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and presented at the International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference in 2013 (click here for more detail)