Psychological impact of injury in elite athletes : an exploration of the knowledge of the governing body chartered physiotherapist

Jevon, Simon Matthew (2001) Psychological impact of injury in elite athletes : an exploration of the knowledge of the governing body chartered physiotherapist. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Hardy and Jones (1994) identified a need for research in the psychological aspects of sports injury, and a requirement to apply a variety of methodologies, particularly qualitative. Research has explored the role of the sports injury practitioner in relation to informational support and psychological factors affecting sports injury treatment and rehabilitation (Ford & Gordon, 1993; Ford, Gordon & Horsley, 1993). Studies (DePalma & DePalma, 1989; Wiese & Wiess, 1987; Wiese, Wiess & Yukelson, 1991) stress the importance of a range of psychological and social skills in supporting the injured athlete. No published work to date has explored the role or knowledge of UK practitioners working with elite athletes. Nineteen UK governing body Chartered Physiotherapists working with UK elite athletes in Olympic Sport were interviewed with data analysed utilising a constructionist revision of Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Research suggests that knowledge gained in expert settings will be through a learning cycle that encompasses experience, observation, reflection, conceptualisation, and experimentation rather than through formal processes (Kolb, 1984). This can lead to knowledge development that is extremely broad in nature and lacking in theoretical underpinning. Awareness of the range and application of knowledge gained may vary between practitioners. Results concur with previous research, demonstrating an unequivocal and important role for practitioners in the psychological support provided to the injured athletes. Although practitioners report conflicts regarding the nature and depth of this role, practitioners are assuming responsibility for the provision of psychological support, even if not self-acknowledging this. Practitioners in this study have an extensive implicit knowledge base on the psychology of the injured athlete garnered through experiential learning. This is assisted by sports specific knowledge gained either through high level participation of through long association and experience with a specific sport. This implicit knowledge is not supported by an understanding of underpinning psychological theory, or formal education and training in psychology or psychology of sport and sports injury. Questions exist regarding the efficacy of psychological support in clinical practice. Professional training and application of reflective and evidence based practice principles to this area of clinical practice are strongly recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only. MSc by Research awarded by Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education which later became the University of Gloucestershire
Uncontrolled Keywords: Injury; Elite athletes; Psychological impact
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Applied Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2022 15:58
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:11

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