Health professionals (ie, physical therapists, athletic trainers) can play an integral role in the psychological recovery from injury.
To examine health professionals’ perceptions of the roles they play and their influence on the psychological recovery of their clients.
A qualitative design using semistructured interviews that were transcribed and analyzed using interpretational analyses to reveal themes.
4 rehabilitation clinics specializing in sport- and physical-activity-related injuries.
18 participants (17 physical therapists, 1 athletic trainer) with a mean age of 36 years.
Using thematic coding of the interview data, general-dimension data themes identified were centered on the roles of rapport builder, educator, and communicator. Health professionals perceive that they play important roles in the psychological recovery of their clients in spite of a lack of professional training in psychology and strive to create a caring and supportive environment. Results demonstrate the perceptions of the roles they play and the influence they have on the psychological component of the recovery process.
The author is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2l 3C5 Canada.