Applying the Sport Commitment Model to Sport Injury Rehabilitation

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Sustaining effort and persistence throughout injury rehabilitation are common goals for sport health care professionals. Considerable research in the sport domain has explored the issue of commitment to sport, as well as what predicts or influences an athlete’s continued desire and resolve to continue participation. Scanlan and colleagues developed the sport commitment model (SCM) that places enjoyment as central construct influencing athletes’ commitment. According to the model, perceptions of enjoyment, personal investments, involvement opportunities, attractive alternatives, social constraints, and social support should predict an athlete’s level of sport commitment. One could argue the same may be true for commitment to sport injury rehabilitation. By applying the SCM to sport injury rehabilitation, practitioners may be able to enhance an athlete’s commitment to their rehabilitation, prolong adherence, and increase other positive outcomes, such as increased enjoyment, motivation, and successful return to competition. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the applicability of the SCM to the injury rehabilitation setting. Design: Correlational design was used. Setting: Division I, intercollegiate athletic training room. Participants: 51 injured intercollegiate male and female athletes, 5 certified athletic trainers, and 8 senior, athletic training students. Intervention: At the approximate midpoint of each athlete’s injury rehabilitation, participants completed SCM measures. Certified athletic trainers and senior athletic training students independently assessed each injured athlete on effort, energy, and intensity during rehabilitation sessions. Main Outcome Measures: Rehabilitation commitment, enjoyment, investments, attractive alternatives, social constraints, perceived costs, and rehabilitation behaviors. Results: Higher perceptions of investments predicted rehabilitation commitment. However, none of the SCM determinants predicted athletic trainer–rated rehabilitation behaviors. Conclusions: Future research should continue to explore commitment constructs in relation to rehabilitation motivation.

The author is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, USA.

Weiss (windee.weiss@uni.edu) is corresponding author.
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