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Caitlin Brinkman, Shelby E. Baez, Francesca Genoese and Johanna M. Hoch

Clinical Scenario: Patients after sports-related injury experience deficits in self-efficacy. Goal setting may be an appropriate psychoeducation technique to enhance self-efficacy after sports-related injury. Clinical Question: Does goal setting–enhanced rehabilitation improve self-efficacy compared with traditional rehabilitation alone in individuals with sports-related injury? Summary of Key Findings: Two randomized controlled trials were included. The two studies selected assessed changes in self-efficacy before and after a goal-setting intervention following sports-related injury in an athletic population. Both studies used the Sports Injury Rehabilitation Beliefs Survey to evaluate self-efficacy. Clinical Bottom Line: There is currently consistent, good-quality, patient-oriented evidence that supports the use of goal setting to improve self-efficacy in patients undergoing rehabilitation for sports-related injury compared with the standard of care group. Future research should examine optimal timing for the implementation of goal setting in order to enhance self-efficacy following sports-related injury. Strength of Recommendation: The grade of A is recommended by the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy for consistent, good-quality, patient-oriented evidence.

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Johanna M. Hoch, Megan N. Houston, Shelby E. Baez and Matthew C. Hoch

Context: Many athletes return to sport after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with lingering physical or mental health impairments. Examining health-related quality of life (HRQL) and fear-avoidance beliefs across the spectrum of noninjured athletes and athletes with a history of ACLR may provide further insight into targeted therapies warranted for this population. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine differences in fear-avoidance beliefs and HRQL in college athletes with a history of ACLR not participating in sport (ACLR-NPS), participating in sport (ACLR-PS), and healthy controls (Control) with no history of injury participating in sport. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): A total of 10 college athletes per group (ACLR-NPS, ACLR-PS, and Control) were included. Participants were included if on a roster of a Division I or III athletic team during data collection. Interventions: Participants completed a demographic survey, the modified Disablement in the Physically Active Scale (mDPA) to assess HRQL, and Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) to assess fear-avoidance beliefs. Main Outcome Measures: Scores on the mDPA (Physical and Mental) and FABQ subscales (Sport and Physical Activity) were calculated, a 1-way Kruskal–Wallis test and separate Mann–Whitney U post hoc tests were performed (P < .05). Results: ACLR-NPS (30.00 [26.00]) had higher FABQ-Sport scores than ACLR-PS (18.00 [26.00]; P < .001) and Controls (0.00 [2.50]; P < .001). ACLR-NPS (21.50 [6.25]) had higher FABQ-Physical Activity scores than ACLR-PS (12.50 [13.00]; P = .001) and Controls (0.00 [1.00]; P < .001). Interestingly, ACLR-PS scores for FABQ-Sport (P = .01) and FABQ-Physical Activity (P = .04) were elevated compared with Controls. ACLR-NPS had higher scores on the mDPA-Physical compared with the ACLR-PS (P < .001) and Controls (P < .001), and mDPA-Mental compared with ACLR-PS (P = .01), indicating decreased HRQL. Conclusions: The ACLR-NPS had greater fear-avoidance beliefs and lower HRQL compared with ACLR-PS and Controls. However, the ACLR-PS had higher scores for both FABQ subscales compared with Controls. These findings support the need for additional psychosocial therapies to address fear-avoidance beliefs in the returned to sport population.

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Johanna M. Hoch, Shelby E. Baez, Robert J. Cramer and Matthew C. Hoch

Context: The modified Disablement in the Physically Active scale (mDPA) has become a commonly utilized patient-reported outcome instrument for physically active patients. However, the factor structure of this instrument has not been verified in individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). Furthermore, additional evidence examining the mDPA in individuals with CAI is warranted. Objective: The purpose of this study was to verify the factor structure of the mDPA and compare the physical summary component (PSC) and mental summary component (MSC) in those with and without CAI. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: A total of 118 CAI and 81 healthy controls from a convenience sample participated. Intervention: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: All subjects completed the 16-item mDPA that included the PSC and MSC; higher scores represent greater disablement. To examine the model fit of the mDPA, a single-factor and 2-factor (PSC and MSC) structures were tested. Group differences were examined with independent t tests (P ≤ .05) and Hedges’ g effect sizes (ESs). Results: Model fit indices showed the 2-factor structure to possess adequate fit to the data, χ 2(101) = 275.58, P < .001, comparative-fit index = .91, root mean square error of approximation = .09 (95% confidence interval [CI], .08–.11), and standardized root mean square residual = .06. All items loaded significantly and in expected directions on respective subscales (λ range = .59–.87, all Ps < .001). The CAI group reported greater disablement as indicated from PSC (CAI: 11.45 [8.30] and healthy: 0.62 [1.80], P < .001, ES = 1.67; 95% CI, 1.33–1.99) and MSC (CAI: 1.75 [2.58] and healthy: 0.58 [1.46], P < .001, ES = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.24–0.82) scores. Conclusions: The 2-factor structure of the mDPA was verified. Individuals with CAI reported greater disablement on the PSC compared with healthy controls. The moderate ES on the MSC between groups warrants further investigation. Overall, these results indicate the mDPA is a generic patient-reported outcome instrument that can be utilized with individuals who have CAI.

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Francesca Genoese, Shelby E. Baez, Nicholas Heebner, Matthew C. Hoch and Johanna M. Hoch

Context: Deficits in reaction time, decreased self-reported knee function, and elevated levels of injury-related fear have been observed in individuals who sustain anterior cruciate ligament injury. Understanding the relationship between these variables may provide the impetus to further investigate effective intervention strategies to address these deficits in individuals after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Objective: To examine the relationship between injury-related fear and lower-extremity visuomotor reaction time (VMRT) in individuals with a history of ACLR. A secondary purpose was to determine the relationship between self-reported knee function and lower-extremity VMRT in individuals with a history of ACLR. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Twenty participants between the ages of 18–35 years, with history of unilateral ACLR within the last 10 years, who injured their knee playing or training for organized or recreational sports. Main Outcome Measures: Scores on the athlete fear avoidance questionnaire, the fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire (FABQ), the knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score, and reaction time (in seconds) on the lower-extremity VMRT task using the FitLight Trainer, bilaterally. Spearman Rho correlations examined the relationship between the dependent variables. Results: There was a moderate positive correlation between VMRT and FABQ-total (r = .62, P < .01), FABQ-sport (r = .56, P = .01), and FABQ-physical activity (r = .64, P < .01) for the injured limb. Correlations between FABQ scores and VMRT for the uninjured limb were weak positive correlations (r = .36–.41, P > .05). Weak correlations between the osteoarthritis outcome score subscales, athlete fear avoidance questionnaire, and VMRT were observed for the injured limb (P > .05). Conclusions: Individuals with a history of ACLR who exhibited elevated levels of injury-related fear demonstrated slower VMRT. There were no relationships between self-reported knee function and VMRT. Future research should explore interventions to address injury-related fear and VMRT in individuals after ACLR.

Open access

Amy R. Barchek, Shelby E. Baez, Matthew C. Hoch and Johanna M. Hoch

Clinical Scenario: Physical activity is vital for human health. Musculoskeletal injury may inhibit adults from participating in physical activity, and this amount may be less than adults without a history of musculoskeletal injury. Clinical Question: Do individuals with a history of ankle or knee musculoskeletal injury participate in less objectively measured physical activity compared with healthy controls? Summary of Key Findings: Four studies were included. Two studies concluded patients who have undergone an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) spent less time in moderate to vigorous physical activity levels when compared with healthy controls, but still achieved the daily recommended amount of physical activity. One study determined that participants with CAI took fewer steps per day compared with the control group. The fourth study determined patients with patellofemoral pain were less physically active than healthy controls as they took fewer steps per day and spent less time participating in mild and high activity. Clinical Bottom Line: There is consistent, high quality evidence that demonstrates individuals with a history of ankle or knee musculoskeletal injury participate in less objectively measured physical activity compared with healthy individuals. Strength of Recommendation: Due to nature of study designs of the included articles in this critically appraised topic, we recommend a grade of 3B.

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Shelby E. Baez, Johanna M. Hoch and Timothy L. Uhl

Clinical Question:

Is there evidence to suggest intermittent cervical traction with cervical and scapular strengthening exercises is more effective in decreasing neck and arm pain when compared with cervical and scapular strengthening exercises alone in nonoperative patients with cervical radiculopathy?

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is currently inconsistent, high-quality evidence that suggests that the use of intermittent cervical traction in addition to strengthening exercises is more effective at decreasing pain in nonoperative patients with cervical radiculopathy when compared with strengthening alone. Future research should continue to examine long-term outcomes associated with cervical radiculopathy patients who use intermittent cervical traction as an intervention.

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Caitlin Brinkman, Shelby E. Baez, Carolina Quintana, Morgan L. Andrews, Nick R. Heebner, Matthew C. Hoch and Johanna M. Hoch

Context: Fast visuomotor reaction time (VMRT), the time required to recognize and respond to sequentially appearing visual stimuli, allows an athlete to successfully respond to stimuli during sports participation, while slower VMRT has been associated with increased injury risk. Light-based systems are capable of measuring both upper- and lower-extremity VMRT; however, the reliability of these assessments are not known. Objective: To determine the reliability of an upper- and lower-extremity VMRT task using a light-based trainer system. Design: Reliability study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): Twenty participants with no history of injury in the last 12 months. Methods: Participants reported to the laboratory on 2 separate testing sessions separated by 1 week. For both tasks, participants were instructed to extinguish a random sequence of illuminated light-emitting diode disks, which appeared one at a time as quickly as possible. Participants were provided a series of practice trials before completing the test trials. VMRT was calculated as the time in seconds between target hits, where higher VMRT represented slower reaction time. Main Outcome Measures: Separate intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to determine test–retest reliability for each task. The SEM and minimal detectable change values were determined to examine clinical applicability. Results: The right limb lower-extremity reliability was excellent (ICC2,1 = .92; 95% CI, .81–.97). Both the left limb (ICC2,1 = .80; 95% CI, .56–.92) and upper-extremity task (ICC2,1 = .86; 95% CI, .65–.95) had good reliability. Conclusions: Both VMRT tasks had clinically acceptable reliability in a healthy, active population. Future research should explore further applications of these tests as an outcome measure following rehabilitation for health conditions with known VMRT deficits.

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Emily R. Hunt, Shelby E. Baez, Anne D. Olson, Timothy A. Butterfield and Esther Dupont-Versteegden

Massage is a common therapeutic modality utilized by clinicians in a variety of settings to help treat injuries, reduce pain, and return function to patients. Massage benefits the patients both psychologically and physiologically, as patients report less pain and anxiety along with better mood and even decreased blood pressure following massage. Additionally, on the cellular level, massage has the ability to modulate the damaging inflammatory process and, in some cases, influence protein synthesis. Although massage has not been linked to a rehabilitation theory to date, this paper will propose how massage may influence fear-avoidance beliefs, or the patient’s inability to cope with pain that then leads to a pain tension cycle. Pain will often result in use avoidance, which creates muscle tension that further exacerbates the pain. Massage can affect the Fear-Avoidance Model because the beneficial effects of massage can break the cycle by either relieving the patient’s pain or eliminating the muscle tension. A modified Fear-Avoidance Model is presented that conceptualizes how pain and fear-avoidance lead to tension and muscle dysfunction. Massage has been incorporated into the model to demonstrate its potential for breaking the pain tension cycle. This model has the potential to be applied in clinical settings and provides an alternate treatment to patients with chronic pain who present with increased levels of fear-avoidance beliefs.