ACL injury rehabilitation: A psychological case study of a professional rugby player

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Carson, Fraser and Polman, Remco (2008) ACL injury rehabilitation: A psychological case study of a professional rugby player. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 2 (1). pp. 71-90. ISSN 1932-9261


The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete's rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.

Additional Information

Online ISSN: 1932-927X

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID22550. rehabilitation, athletic injury, autonomy, coping, emotional response, anterior cruciate ligament, professional rugby players, football
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