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This action research study employed a multi-modal intervention with three athletes rehabilitating from injury. The efficacy of a number of intervention strategies emerged, including social support, goal setting, imagery, simulation training, and verbal persuasion. Emotional support was perceived by athletes as important when rehabilitation progress was slow, setbacks were experienced, or other life demands placed additional pressures on participants. Task support mainly took the form of goal setting. There was support for the use of long-term and short-term goals, and both process and performance goals. The effect of outcome expectancy, rehabilitation setbacks, financial concerns, isolation, social comparison, and the need for goal flexibility emerged as salient to athletes’ responses to, and rehabilitation from, injury. In the reentry phase of rehabilitation, confidence in the injured body part, and the ability to meet game demands was perceived by participants as important to successful return to competition.
Lynne Evans is with the School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, CF23 6XD UK; Lew Hardy is with the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK; Scott Fleming is with the School of Sport, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education. Cheltenham. UK.