Cognitive appraisal models of adjustment to sport injury hold that cognitive appraisals of the injury determine emotional responses to the injury, which in turn influence behavioral responses (e.g., adherence to rehabilitation). To test this model, recreational and competitive athletes undergoing rehabilitation following knee surgery (N = 31) appraised their ability to cope with their injury and completed a measure of mood disturbance. Adherence to rehabilitation was measured in terms of attendance at rehabilitation sessions and physical therapist/athletic trainer ratings of patient behavior during rehabilitation sessions. As predicted, cognitive appraisal was associated with emotional disturbance. Emotional disturbance was inversely related to one measure of adherence (attendance) but was unrelated to the other measure of adherence (physical therapist/athletic trainer ratings). The results of this study provide support for cognitive appraisal models and suggest that emotional disturbance may be a marker for poor adherence to sport injury rehabilitation regimens.
Joanne M. Daly, Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, and Albert J. Petitpas are with the Center for Performance Enhancement and Applied Research, Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01103. Joseph H. Sklar is with New England Orthopedic Surgeons, 300 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104-2356. Direct correspondence to Britton W. Brewer.