A Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for College Athletes With Injuries

in The Sport Psychologist

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Leslie W. PodlogUniversity of Utah

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John HeilPsychological Health Roanoke

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Ryan D. BurnsUniversity of Utah

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Sean BergesonUniversity of Utah

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Tom IriyeUniversity of Utah

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Brad FawverUniversity of Utah

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A. Mark WilliamsUniversity of Utah

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The authors used a quasi-experimental design to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral-therapy (CBT) intervention for enhancing psychological well-being (positive and negative affect, vitality, self-esteem), rehabilitation adherence, and clinical rehabilitation outcomes (pain, physical function) in 16 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) Division I athletes experiencing a range of severe injuries. ANCOVAs, with adjusted baseline scores, revealed significant differences between the experimental and control groups for positive affect at rehabilitation midpoint (T2; adjusted mean difference (AMD) = 0.41, p = .04, η2 = .34) and return to play (T3; AMD = 0.67, p < .001, η2 = .70), negative affect at T3 (AMD = −0.81, p = .01, η2 = .47), and vitality at T2 (AMD = 0.99, p = .01, η2 = .48) and T3 (AMD = 1.08, p = .02, η2 = .33). Given decrements in emotional functioning after injury, the data support the use of CBT-based interventions for facilitating the emotional well-being of athletes with severe injuries.

Podlog, Burns, Bergeson, and Williams are with the Dept. of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation; Iriye, the Athletics Dept.; and Fawver, the Div. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Heil is with Psychological Health Roanoke, Roanoke, VA, USA.

Podlog (les.podlog@utah.edu) is corresponding author.
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