Noncompliance to rehabilitation programs presents a significant challenge to clinicians. Noncompliant athletes are at greater risk for re-injury and slower return to activity. There is a paucity of information concerning compliance to sports rehabilitation. This paper advocates the use of behavioral and cognitive techniques to facilitate achievement of rehabilitation goals. Behavioral techniques involve the use of specific short-term functional goals to achieve the long-term goal of return to activity. Cognitive techniques involve the relationship between thoughts and action, that is, if athletes are thinking negatively, they are less compliant to rehabilitation programs. Specific examples of both techniques are presented to the clinician that are proposed to increase rehabilitation goal attainment.
Teddy W. Worrell is with the University of Indianapolis, Krannert Graduate School of Physical Therapy, 1400 East Hanna Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227.