The Role of Optimism and Psychosocial Factors in Athletes Recovery From ACL Injury: A Longitudinal Study

Tom Williams, Lynne Evans, Angus Robertson, Lew Hardy, Stuart Roy, Daniel Lewis, Freya Glendinning

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    Abstract

    Despite a growing interest into the role of psychosocial factors during the recovery period following sports injuries, there remains a paucity of longitudinal studies examining the indirect relationships between psychosocial factors, psychological responses, and recovery outcomes. The purpose of this study was to construct and test a conceptual model which examined the indirect relationships between optimism, psychosocial factors, rehabilitation adherence, and perceived knee function up to 12 months post anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. A prospective, longitudinal, and repeated measures design was employed, wherein 81 injured athletes ( M age 26.89, SD = 7.52) completed measures of optimism, psychosocial factors, rehabilitation adherence, and perceived knee function on seven occasions (pre-surgery to 1 year post-surgery). Bayesian structural equation modeling evaluated the hypothesized indirect relationships proposed within the conceptual model. The main findings from this study was empirical support for a time-ordered, conceptual model which demonstrated that pre-surgery optimism had a significant overall indirect effect on perceived knee function at 12 months post-surgery ( sum of indirect; αβ = 0.08, post. SD = 0.05, CI [0.01, 0.04]), as well as a specific indirect effect through secondary appraisal at 1 month post-surgery, efficacy at 2 months post-surgery, and rehabilitation adherence at 6 months post-surgery (αβ = 0.03, post. SD = 0.03, CI [0.00, 0.10]). Collectively, this study provides support for a number of previously hypothesized, but not empirically examined, indirect relationships between optimism, psychosocial factors and recovery outcomes. In doing so, we provide a conceptual model which has the potential to help guide individualized treatment recommendations, as well as identify individuals at risk of compromised recovery outcomes following ACL surgery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number116
    Number of pages18
    JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
    Volume2
    Issue number0
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020

    Keywords

    • ACL
    • Bayesian structural equation modeling
    • optimism
    • perceived knee function
    • psychosocial factors
    • rehabilitation adherence

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