The facilitative nature of avoidance coping within sport injury rehabilitation

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Carson, Fraser and Polman, Remco (2010) The facilitative nature of avoidance coping within sport injury rehabilitation. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport, 20 (2). pp. 235-240. ISSN 0905-7188


Avoidance coping has commonly been reported within literature to be a debilitative process. However, in situations where goal attainment is reduced or eradicated avoidance coping strategies appear to have some benefit. The aim of this study was to identify the role of avoidance coping within the sports injury rehabilitation setting. A mixed methodological approach was utilized with four professional male rugby union players, concurrent with their rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. Twice monthly interviews were conducted with each player, along with a self-report diary and the Coping with Health, Injuries and Problems (CHIP; Endler & Parker, 2000) inventory. Content analysis showed six higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: (a) behavioral avoidance coping (physical distraction, social interaction, maladaptive behaviors), and (b) cognitive avoidance coping (denial, thought stopping, cognitive distraction). Results suggest avoidance coping strategies facilitate control of short-term emotional states, as well has appearing to have long-term benefits for injured players. Particular benefits were associated with undertaking alternate work within the sports organization.

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Additional Information

Online ISSN: 1600-0838

Item type Article
DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00890.x
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > SEO Classification > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID21081. avoidance coping, sport injuries, rehabilitation, anterior cruciate ligament injury, coping process, distraction coping, psychology of sport, stress, rugby union players, football, footballers
Citations in Scopus 33 - View on Scopus
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