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A Preliminary Investigation into the Use of Counseling Skills in Support of Rehabilitation from Sport Injury

Judith A. Rock and Marc V. Jones

Objectives:

To explore the usefulness of counseling skills for 3 athletes undergoing rehabilitation from anterior-cruciate-ligament-reconstruction surgery.

Design:

A series of 3 case studies explored the impact of a counseling-skills intervention over 12 weeks postsurgery. Semistructured interviews were conducted 12 weeks postsurgery for triangulation and social validation of intervention.

Participants:

3 athletes meeting selection criteria, recruited from a hospital waiting list and receiving standardized rehabilitation regime.

Intervention:

Participants each received 6 counseling skills interventions at 2-week intervals.

Main Outcome Measures:

Mood, perceived rehabilitation, pain ratings, social support.

Results:

Triangulation of interview data and outcome measures provided some evidence of the beneficial impact of counseling skills on psychological outcomes. It also indicated that setbacks could present challenges to rehabilitation.

Conclusions:

Counseling skills can enhance psychological well-being of athletes during rehabilitation and be especially important during setbacks.