Psychological predictors of injury in elite athletes

Moyle, Gene M. and Terry, Peter C. (2005) Psychological predictors of injury in elite athletes. In: ISSP 11th World Congress of Sport Psychology, 15-19 August 2005, Sydney, Australia.


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The nature of injuries within sport and the psychological factors impacting upon
injury rehabilitation are well documented (Brewer, 2003; Johnson, 1997; Van Mechelen,
Hlobil, & Kemper, 1992; Weiss, 2003), however existing scientific knowledge that addresses
the psychological predictors of injury in elite sport is somewhat contradictory and less
comprehensive. Given the cost of injuries, both in terms of time out of sport, the expense of
rehabilitation, and adverse social and economic effects (Van Mechelen et al., 1992), further
examination of the psychological predictors of injury in elite athletes may prove beneficial
for the sports medicine community.
In light of this, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship
between injuries, specific medical factors (e.g., asthma, back pain) and psychological risk
factors including life stress, mood, previous psychological diagnoses and disordered eating
behaviour in an elite athlete population - scholarship athletes at the Queensland Academy of
Sport (QAS). This investigation was undertaken with a primary focus upon applied research
that addresses 'real life' challenges facing athletes and sports medicine staff, versus
examination of theoretical issues within the area of psychological risk factors and sports
injuries. Research was conducted via examination of data obtained through processes and
measures already established by the QAS as part of their medical screening policy.
Based upon the results of this investigation, recommendations can be made with
regards to implications for practical application within specific elite sporting environments
(e.g., QAS), in addition to the sports medicine community at large. Furthermore, through the
summary of injury characteristics and the development of population-specific tables of
normative data for the mood and life stress measurement scales, an applied contribution to
the existing body of knowledge can be made that provides a baseline for future research into
screening protocols and interventions aimed at reducing the risk of injury in sport.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport psychology, psychological risk factors, elite athletes, stress, injury, psychological dimensions, Brunel Mood Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, psychometric mood
Fields of Research (FoR): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment

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