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Nicolas Olivier, Renaud Legrand, Jacques Rogez, FX Gamelin, Serge Berthoin and Thierry Weissland

Objective:

To analyze the consequences on heart rate variability (HRV) of a hospitalization period due to surgery of the knee in sportsmen.

Patients:

Ten soccer players who had undergone knee surgery took part in this study.

Design:

HRV was measured before and after hospitalization within a 7-day interval.

Results:

After the hospitalization phase, heart rate at rest increased significantly (3 beats/minute). A significant decrease of 7% in the cardiac inter beat interval (R-R interval), P < 0.05 and a 66% decrease in total power spectral density: −66%, P < 0.05 were observed. The disturbance of the autonomic nervous system could be due to a variation in cardiac vagal activity resulting in a 64% decrease in the high frequencies (P < 0.05). This variation was not associated with a modification in normalized markers (LFn.u., HFn.u.) and LF/HF ratio (P > 0.05).

Conclusion:

In sportsmen, a hospitalization period led to an increase in resting heart rate and was associated with a disturbance of the autonomic nervous system.

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Steven R. Heyman

Sport psychology has had an internal debate about whether to conduct research in the field or in the laboratory. At the same time, concerns have been raised about interventions (particularly for performance enhancement) being performed without any reasonable evaluation of their outcome. This paper reviews the issues in consultation with an athlete and a coach, the development and modification of interventions, and the attempt to develop a single-case experimental design to assess the utility of the intervention. Although some situations caused the design to be less complete than would be desirable, the data obtained from behavioral observations and subjective ratings showed good reliability and validity and provided useful information. It is suggested that better designs can be developed but that events in the actual sport situation may require adjustments in the intervention and evaluation processes.